Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) leads the world in production and export of the cocoa beans used in the manufacture of chocolate, as of 2012, supplying 38% of cocoa produced in the world. West Africa collectively supplies two thirds of the world's cocoa crop, with Ivory Coast leading production at 1.8 million tonnes as of 2017, and nearby Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Togo producing additional 1.55 million tonnes. Ivory Coast overtook Ghana as the world's leading producer of cocoa beans in 1978, and today is highly dependent on the crop, which accounts for 40% of national export income.
Read on for more information on the Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective.
Meet The Team
Salimata is Senoufo from the North of Côte d'Ivoire. She was born in the South where coca is grown. She is the President of a Cocoa and Coffee cooperative, but she mainly focuses on producing cocoa which presently they sell to multinational organisations. The co-operative have a vision to transform the cocoa produced in origin into all forms of chocolate, soaps, beverages, etc through linkages the collective provides.
Axel Emmanuel Gbaou
Founder & CEO
Despite producing 40% of the worlds cocoa, chocolate was too expensive for locals to experience. To change this, Axel left a career in banking to become a chocolatier and in 2015 established Le Chocolatier Ivoirien, to produce chocolate for the Ivorian market. He explains that whilst eating chocolate in the West provides a moment of happiness, for cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, it brings misery.
Axel has joined forces with a network of farmers and the community cooperative CoopBel, one of 3015 cooperatives demanding better rights and pricing. CoopBel is a groundbreaking organisation that’s managed by 200 women in support of their farmers. Axel was featured in the Netflix documentary Bitter Chocolate and has won many awards including Chocolatier of Ivory Coast, Vice-Chocolatier of Africa and in 2015 President Ouattara named him Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Bio courtesy Earth Live. S