Menakao is one of the very few companies that make bean to bar chocolate in a cacao producing country where, traditionally, chocolate has not been consumed.
Between 8,000 and 10,000 tonnes of cocoa beans are produced annually in Madagascar but only 5% is processed on the island. While the vast majority of Madagascan cocoa is exported, processing the beans locally generates 4 times as much income for Madagascan workers.

“A number of logos, designations and certifications (ethical, sustainable, fair, etc ...) appear increasingly on the packaging of consumer products. Codes of conduct and other certifications or marketing of products from a fair trade point of view are all commendable.
However, we buy our cocoa with a higher price than the Fair Trade premium price. We have voluntarily decided not to certify because it will cost a lot of money. It seems more important to invest these funds for the well-being of our employees and for concrete actions in Madagascar.
We built a chocolate factory and hired local staff to work in a highly secure environment. All our staff are paid above minimum wage, while qualified technicians receive much more. Each of our 50 permanent employees (and 10 temporary) provide for an average 3.5 people. We buy cocoa from around 100 farmers.
The cocoa crop is exclusively a rural activity. By its nature, cocoa provides both income and social status in the rural communities, helping to contain migration to urban areas. Our role, and that of large plantations and other cooperatives is to ensure the economic and social advancement of all cocoa farmers by offering them fair prices for their work, allowing everyone to live in dignity.
Producing in Madagascar allows us to affect the lives of the local population. The salary and advantages received by our employees is the most direct means of ensuring the survival of local communities. Producing locally generates a demand for local raw materials (electricity, water, ingredients, logistics), which in turn creates jobs and spreads wealth for the country.
Our chocolate is organic. We only use natural ingredients. We do not use pesticides at our plantations.”