One of the very first companies to offer sponsorship of the FBI 2011 goodie bags was Bright Bean who are the official distributors of Madécasse Chocolates in Africa. Charl and Tracey from Bright Bean are two of the most fabulous people, kind of like the lovely Pesto Princess ladies who got involved and helped so much behind the scenes. It is such a pleasure to have folk like this come on board and it is very encouraging to see companies like this out there.
Madécasse Chocolate is single origin Madagascar which means that the entire product “from tree to bean to bar to wrapper” is beneficiated on the island of Madagascar. This enables the Malagasy communities involved in farming and production to earn as much as four times more impact than fair trade cocoa alone.
The Madécasse 44% Cocoa Milk Chocolate has just won a prestigious Good Food Award 2011 beating out 800 other participants. The award goes to chocolate that “meets the criteria of being free of genetically modified soy lecithin and made by chocolatiers who seek to know their cacao farmers.” Here is some background behind Madecasse which the judges found noteworthy about the manufacturing process:
“Madécasse is redefining chocolate production so that “bean to bar to wrapper” takes place near the point of origin, the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. Here, the fermentation and drying process occur at the farm while farmers are taught how to harvest higher quality cocoa beans. This paradigm enables Madécasse to “produce four times more economic impact than fair trade,” thereby creating a “real Madagascar chocolate” and a sustainable chocolate industry in Africa. Unlike typical cocoa plantations which use mono-crop systems, the Ezaka Cooperative practices higher levels of biodiversity by growing banana trees, coconut trees, mango trees, coffee trees, and indigenous hardwood species under the same canopy as the cocoa forest. Madécasse aims to dispel claims that fine chocolate can’t come from Africa by empowering local farmers and chocolate makers through collaboration, connection, and partnership.”
Madécasse has sold at Whole Foods as well as other natural and organic product delis and health stores in the United States for the last 6 years, as well as in other countries. Madécasse is proving to be very popular with South African consumers and tourists at a number of levels:
Story. Madécasse comes with a positive story of African upliftment, and its trade-based model is making a real difference to alleviate poverty, provide electricity, and educate children, whilst promoting self-esteem and dignity among those involved.
Unique. Madécasse is the only tree to bar chocolate in Africa, and one of only two tree to bar producers in the world.
Hype. Madécasse attracts consumers’ attention through its taste and packaging, and consumers are amazed that the product is African. Word of mouth is spreading the awareness of the Madécasse brand in South Africa, aided by our use of social media to spread the news. Madécasse continues to receive positive reviews in the US.
Exclusive. Madécasse is exclusive and produced in smaller quantities compared to other chocolate brands, which are becoming less premium and more commoditised, and so less appealing to consumers looking for something different.
Pairing. Following international trends we have been working at pairing Madécasse with wine and coffee. The success of this stems from the fact that Madécasse is a pure chocolate with no artificial additives, ingredients or preservatives that may clash with the flavours and aromas of the paired wine or coffee.
Wellness. The pure (and few) ingredients in Madécasse, as well as its organic and natural growing conditions appeals to health conscious consumers and is proving very popular in wellness outlets in South Africa.
Madécasse has just been voted one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world, by Fast Company.
Besides the little hessian baggies of chocolates that you found in your goodie bags after the conference Madécasse also sponsored TWO divine gift pack hampers of their range of chocolates. Thats right folk. And seeing as it is my birthday weekend I have decided to do some giveaways on my blogs. Here are the two hampers that are up for grabs:
And nooooo, the helper elves are not also up for grabs. Those, at least, are all mine 🙂 But you can have the chocolate….
So, to win yourself one of these hampers tell me what you would do with all of the products inside…….
Each hamper contains 275g of 70%, 275g of 63%, 75g Milk Chocolate, 75g of 67% Chocolate, 75g of 75%, 75g of 80% and 75g Sea Salt and Nibs Chocolate.
Thats a LOT of chocolate to make a lot of delicious things…or just eat it!
Give me your comments. You might be one of the lucky two to win a hamper…..The winner will be announced at the end of April.
Competition open only to those living in South Africa! If you don’t live in SA but have a South African address that it can be shipped to then feel free to enter! If you don’t have one I can give you mine 🙂 That’s how much I love me some of this choccie haha!
A very special thank you to Tracey and Charl of Bright Bean, and to Madécasse for the awesome sponsorship. Without special people like this the FBI2011 would not have been the success that it was!
Have an awesome weekend chocolate lovers!
EDIT: Sunday 1 May 2011
This competition is now CLOSED! No further comments will be entered into the draw which will take place tomorrow morning. The two winners will be notified via email and through this blog. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments!