RSF grants a loan to Madécasse

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RSF is pleased to announce a new loan to Madécasse, a social enterprise that manufactures chocolate and vanilla products in Africa. RSF has made available a line of credit that will allow Madécasse to finance its inventory purchases and to compensate for cash flow gaps throughout the year.

Madécasse was founded in 2008 by Tim McCollum and Brett Beach. As Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar, the couple fell in love with the country and wanted to do more to help their economy after their PCV service. Troubled by the fact that Africa provides 70% of the world’s cocoa but less than 1% of its chocolate, they made it their mission to create real change in Madagascar by keeping the entire production process of local chocolate. Madécasse buys cocoa from local farmers and offers them vocational training and salaries above the market. The company benefits from all of Madagascar’s production capacities: from the crushing and processing of cocoa, to the manufacture of chocolate, including packaging and packaging. This creates additional jobs and helps build industries to boost sustainable economic development in one of the poorest countries in the world. By keeping all manufacturing in Madagascar, local farmers benefit four times more than they would from the fair trade system.

“Companies like Madécasse are taking the concept of fair trade to another level,” says Kate Danaher, Senior Lending Associate at RSF. “By turning raw materials into finished products in the country, they provide skilled jobs and economic opportunities for people with few options. “

Most of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, where it is mainly grown in small plantations by farmers living in poverty. In contrast, most of the world’s chocolate is consumed in wealthy regions of Europe and North America. Despite the high price of chocolate in the grocery store, most cocoa farmers earn only a small fraction of the profits. But by producing its products in Africa and sourcing ingredients locally, Madécasse has created significant income for more than 200 people in Madagascar.

In addition to providing workforce training and promoting poverty reduction and sustainable economic development, part of Madécasse’s mission is to contribute to the preservation of the natural environment. Due to its unique geographic location, 85% of Madagascar’s plants and animals do not exist anywhere else in the world. But the pressures of extreme poverty are forcing many Malagasy people to cut down trees for firewood and charcoal in order to survive, contributing to the loss of the country’s rainforests and native species. Madécasse works with cocoa farmers to regenerate the shady forests that shelter their cocoa trees, by restoring the biodiversity of the soil, flora and fauna. To date, the company has planted over 5,000 trees to help provide the shade needed for cocoa to grow.

And RSF is helping Madécasse to pursue its mission. “Working with RSF means that we can pursue both of our goals with ease and comfort,” says Tim McCollum, co-founder and CEO of Madécasse. “RSF“ understands ”what we do, and they embrace it. This loan means we can grow our business which means we can have a greater social impact in Madagascar.

It couldn’t be better suited.

About Madécasse

Founded in 2008 by former Peace Corps volunteers, Madécasse is the only company producing high quality, bar-shaped, hand-wrapped chocolate and vanilla products on the African continent. Unlike traditional chocolate making which only creates minimal income for cocoa farmers, every process in the Madécasse chocolate value chain takes place within the borders of Madagascar. By providing equipment and training – and by producing the entire product locally – Madécasse is able to pay 100% of production costs back to Malagasy people. As a social enterprise, they measure success by the quality of their product and their social impact in Africa. www.madecasse.com

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