They work directly with 100 farmers to grow premium cocoa so the farmers can make a lot more money. So much money that some of them now have pick-up trucks. The typical chocolate supply chain usually has anywhere from 3-5 middlemen sitting between the cocoa farmer and the chocolate maker. With that many hands in the pot, it doesn't work well for anyone. So Madecasse put their money where our mouth is. They built a factory in Madagascar. And they built it as close as possible to their cocoa farmers. They’re working towards a world where farmers make good money. A world where farmers are not a statistic. A world where farmers are treated like people, and not photo ops. A world where farmers have pick-up trucks.
For a lot of people, Madagascar evokes certain images. Lush vegetation. Endemic lemurs. Tropical birds. Rare chameleons. All thriving in a beautiful ecosystem of thick rainforest cover. Maybe that was true at some point in history, but today there are few forests and national parks remaining. So they've started investing in cocoa agroforestry, the system of growing cocoa that involves shade trees and supports native wildlife. With the help of Conservation International and the Bristol Zoo, Madecasse started to research the link between cocoa trees and lemur conservation. The researchers spent 6 months embedded with cocoa farmers, sleeping in forests, monitoring night cameras, and producing acoustic recordings. The results were shocking. It wasn’t just that these cocoa trees could potentially support lemur populations; they already were. They found five species of endangered lemurs, 19 species of birds, the Madagascar flying fox, and more. That makes this chocolate not only delicious, but lemur loving as well.