Natural, Organic & Sustainable Agriculture

Madagascar cacao

Cacao was introduced to Madagascar in the early 1800s and originally cultivated on the east coast. Towards the end of the same century, cacao plantations were created in the Sambirano region. Cacao trees are often planted amongst other fruit trees, such as mango, banana, lychee and jackfruit.

The types of beans in Madagascar are Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario (a cross between Criollo and Forastero). Most cacao in Madagascar is grown in the Ambanja region and to a lesser extent in the SAVA region. We source our cacao from both regions:

1) Plantations along the Bemarivo river in the northeast of the country, a location where Androranga river coming from Marojejy joins Bemarivo and that flows into the Indian Ocean on the east coast north of Sambava.

2) Plantations along the Sambirano River, which flows from Tsaratanana and into the Mozambique Channel on the west coast, just south of Ambanja.

During the rainy season, these rivers flood and deposit the riverbeds with highly fertile fluvial, creating ideal conditions for many types of crops, cacao included.

While exact terroirs and microclimates can vary from plantation to plantation, both regions produce fruity flavoured cacao, which can be especially suitable in making non-bitter bean-to-bar chocolates with minimal or no use of sugar.

We offer sun-dried (raw) or sun-dried and dry-roasted whole beans. Dry roasted for 15 mins at 100°C is often a step before beans are crushed into nibs and thereafter made into chocolate. Sun-dried or sun-dried and dry-roasted beans can be used to make bean-to-bar chocolates as well as sold directly as cacao beans.

Unlike other cacao growing nations, Madagascar's cacao trees yield crops year round. Less than 1% of the world's cacao originates from Madagascar. However, Madagascar's cacao is known amongst chocolatiers and master chefs to be amongst the best in the world!