Peace Corps Volunteers Use Chocolate To Lift Africans from Poverty

Peace Corps Volunteers Use Chocolate To Lift Africans from Poverty

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sunset in Africa cocoa treesAfrica produces 70% of the world’s chocolate and 60% of the world’s vanilla crop, yet the continent makes just 1% of finished chocolate bars, which leaves very little profit for the essential farming communities.

Now, an innovative company started by former Peace Corps volunteers is disrupting that market spiral to make the world’s best chocolate bars — and make a difference — in Madagascar.

The Madécasse Chocolate Company describes their local sourcing of not just ingredients but manufacturing as having four times the impact of “fair trade” cocoa products. The chocolate business not only lifts farmers, it creates commerce in related business and preserves the ancient environment of this biodiverse hotspot.

In addition, the company has recently rediscovered species of cocoa that were previously thought to be extinct.

Pure Ancient Criollo, a once-thought extinct species of cacao, as chocolate by Madecassewell as other pure and extremely rare varieties of cacao, have been “rediscovered” by Madécass in remote areas of northwest Madagascar under the region’s original forest cover.

Citing its uniquely fruity flavor, everyone from Wine Spectator to the New York Times has sung the praises of Madécasse’s chocolate, which is sold online and in specialty stores, independent grocers, and some Whole Foods.

(WATCH the video below, and READ the story in Fast Coexist)