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Millot Plantation, Madagascar

Thanks to its sourcing team, Valrhona has had a presence in Madagascar since 1986, and it has maintained a long-lasting partnership with Millot, allowing both companies to work together to improve production processes. With help from sourcing staff, planters and R&D teams, these improvements have covered everything from cocoa farming techniques (such as trimming and pruning) to fermentation and drying. 

One notable result of this sustainable, exclusive collaboration is the development of the exclusive Double Fermentation process to make a milk chocolate. To develop KIDAVOA, Plantation Millot and Valrhona’s own experts had the idea of combining fine Madagascan cocoa with locally harvested bananas to create a milk chocolate with unique aromatic notes. KIDAVOA enriches the Double Fermentation range, opening up the way for new milk chocolates which mix powerful touches of fruit with deep cocoa flavors.

Alongside this work, for many years Valrhona has supported the financing of local infrastructure. This support has not only focused on cocoa-producing facilities, but has also to improve living conditions in producer communities. In addition to this long-term support, some of the Valrhona’s customers have asked to be involved in various individual projects, such as digging a well to give access to drinking water and providing school equipment for plantation workers’ children.

 

M. Libanio Plantation, Brazil

In the Northeast of Brazil, in the province of Bahia, lies the Mata Atlantica, one of the richest ecosystems in the world. This tropical forest, weakened by intensive deforestation, has been classified as a "Biosphere Reserve" by UNESCO. Here, farmers use the Cabruca system to protect cocoa trees from the weather while also preserving biodiversity. This involves planting larger trees such as rubber and fruit trees over smaller trees such as cocoa. Our commitment to biodiversity and sustainable development has led us to invest in the area over the course of the last twenty years, providing economic and social support to producers.

It is against this backdrop of unprecedented botanical wealth that ITAKUJA was born. ITAKUJA comes from the name of the town of Itacare, situated near the M. Libanio plantation in Brazil, and “mara kuja”, the word for “passion fruit” in the indigenous Tupi language of Brazil. This couverture, which marries Brazilian cocoa with passion fruit through the process of double fermentation, is the result of a longstanding partnership between Valrhona and the M. Libanio plantation. Driven by the same cocoa cultivation philosophy and a shared respect for people and biodiversity.