We work in partnership with a workers’ cooperative in the Sambirano Valley. The beans used to make MENAKAO chocolate are carefully selected. In October 2013, our beans received a prestigious excellence award.
Our plantation is located slightly inland, deep in the north-western Sambirano region, where the soil is perfect for growing cocoa trees.
The region is bordered by the Tsaratanana Massif, which shields the plantation from the cyclones that frequently arrive from the Indian Ocean. The average temperature throughout the year is 26°C.
The Sambirano River which stretches for 30 miles through the territory, supplies the mineral sediments required for the cultivation of cacao. Cocoa trees thrive the closer they grow to the river.
While the cocoa tree is a perennial crop, production peaks in May and June. The largest harvest takes place from September to November.
Quality assurance and genetic improvement:
Our plantation is organic (non-certified). No fertilisers or pesticides are used.
The pollination process is entirely natural, with insects such as ants and bees playing a major role in the fertilisation of the cocoa tree flowers which later develop into cocoa pods.
The beans are harvested only when they are fully ripe. Maturity is a clear sign of quality.
Our local plantation is small; ensuring greater quality control, plant care and disease prevention.
The best seeds are retained in order to supply new plantations, ensuring the continued quality of harvests.
The beans are fermented in large vats in order to bring out the natural flavours of the cacao beans.
The island’s climate allows the beans to be sun dried (not in ovens as in other producing countries), preserving their aromatic qualities.