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Cuckoo for Cocoa Processing: Making Chocolate—Not Just Picking It—Helps Madagascar Develop

Madécasse’s high-quality export model can help developing countries boost their economies.



In northern Madagascar, the village of Anketrakabe lies 60 kilometers from the nearest paved road. There, farmers without running water or electricity grow cocoa beans that, unlike most of Madagascar’s cocoa harvest, will not be sent to far away Europe for processing.

These farmers partner with the Brooklyn-based chocolate company Madécasse (pronounced mah-DAY-cas) and ship their cocoa to the capital city—still a three-day journey at best—where it is transformed into chocolate bars before being shipped to retailers across the globe.

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Fair Trade Vanilla: Anything but Plain

Fair trade standards helps maintain the quality and supply of the delicate vanilla plant, which requires careful cultivation and harvesting.

Following Fair Trade: Even the most locally minded eaters tend to consume some foods and beverages that only grow in distant regions—usually the hot and tropical ones—and many of those areas are also home to some of the world’s poorest populations. To ensure people at the origin of global supply chains receive just treatment, adequate pay, and access to health, education and a good quality of life, the Fair Trade standard was created. Fair Trade regulations often have positive environmental consequences, but at the root protects people—facilitating farming practices and trade relationships that empower farmers and their communities.

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