Chocolat Madagascar

Chocolat Madagascar by Chocolat Robert

The Chocolat Robert brand has existed since 1940. In Madagascar, but not outside. The Ramanandraibe family owned a cocoa plantation from 1920 and took over Chocolaterie Robert in 1970. But that remained a Madagascar brand. They wished to export. In 2013, Neil Kelsall came into the picture, who had done projects in Madagascar before. Thus was born the Chocolat Madagascar brand. And if they wanted to be successful outside Madagascar, they had to make the absolute finest chocolate, Neil said. And thus it was decided: The very best chocolate in every aspect; from the farmer to the consumer.

Chocolat Madagascar and Chocolat Robert differ in quality. And in price. Chocolat Madagascar has won many international awards during its short existence.

The chocolate is produced in Madagascar and packed in the factory of Chocolaterie Robert. The Ramanandraibe family consequently has also a stake in Chocolat Madagascar. (Some family members live in Paris and have a chocolate shop there with bars from both the Chocolat Robert and Chocolat Madagascar brands).

The island of Madagascar is bigger than France and Belgium combined and 2.5 times Great Britain. It produces 0.1% of the world’s cocoa, but very aromatic and tasty cocoa. Cocoa was introduced around 1822, originally from the Dutch East Indies (then). It was first planted in the rainforests on the northern east coast of the island, near Ivoloina and Vohibinany. That part of the island is more vulnerable to cyclones. Therefore, around 1900, the major cultivation shifted westwards to the rainforests of the Sambirano valley.

In 2012, Chocolaterie Robert replanted on the east coast 100,000 cocoa trees in Vohibinany, with the first harvests in 2016. And in 2015, it purchased the 1,726-hectare MAVA plantation, which stretches across Madagascar’s upper and lower Sambirano Valley. This comprises eight farms offering different terroir cocoa – Ankidony, Ambalahonko, Ambohimena Nord, Ambohimena Sud, Antsamala, Maliolo, Ambodivato and Ottange.