Category Archives: Sustainability and Climate Change

Visit to Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate

Crayfish bay organic cocoa

This summer we were fortunate to spend a wonderful week staying with Kim and Lyette Russell on their organic cocoa estate at Crayfish Bay, Victoria, Grenada. We took our children with us and stayed in their guest accommodation which has to be one of the most idyllic locations I have ever stayed in. For several […]

Akany Avoko Faravohitra Childrens Home Madagascar

Akany Avoko Faravohitra

Our visit to Akany Avoko Faravohitra Childrens Home Madagascar was an unforgettably moving experience. In Malagasy ‘Akany’ is centre, ‘Avoko’ a Madagascan flower and ‘Faravohitra’ is a suburb of Antananarivo the Madagascan capital. It was our second day in Madagascar and we knew that we were to visit a children’s home that had recently opened. What we […]

Madagascar Day 7 – Monsieur Rene Julien’s Organic Cocoa Plantation

Monsieur Rene Julien and Lick the Spoon

As we cross the mighty Sambirano river like a sunning brown snake it marks the gateway to the fertile delta region of North-West Madagascar. The sides of the road are dotted with leaning shacks selling watermelon and fruits, children are walking to school, and the roadside is cool and shady in the early morning sun. […]

Madagascar Day 6 – MAVA Cocoa Plantation tour Sambirano Valley

Crossing the Sambirano

Day 6 and we cross the mighty Sambirano river heading towards the pinnacle of our chocolatiers journey – the cocoa plantations. A journey that has taken us 10 years and 10,000 miles! As we pull into a cool shady glade we catch the first glimpse of the elegant old French colonial building where our host […]

Madagascar Day 5 – Diego to Ambanja

Zebu Transportation

The Port of Diego at the northern tip of the Island is the main commodity export route for goods leaving Madagascar. It is where cocoa beans are exported from the Sambirano valley plantations, but is not the main export route for Chocolat Madagascar. All of Chocolat Madagascar’s finished products head east via chilled export containers […]

Madagascar Day 2 – Chocolat Madagascar factory visit

Monsieur Ramanandraibe and Chocolat Madagascar team

An early start from our hotel for our trip to the Chocolat Madagascar factory. As we drive through Tana centre we see all colours of life. People selling fruits on the street, a guy selling windscreen wipers with inner tubes around his neck approaches our bus. Street stalls alive with colour and seemingly selling anything available, […]

Madagascar Day 1 – Anatananarivo Town of a Thousand

Madagascar anatananarivo

Day 1 – The Journey Today is the day! Tina’s Madagascan phone countdown has ticked to zero, the cases are packed, children in bed with Grandma staying for the week. We are bleary eyed and restless, too excited to sleep yet knowing we have a 20 hour journey ahead of us lying on sofas in […]

A Trip to Madagascar!

For Lick the Spoon, as for many chocolatiers, the “Holy Grail” is to see first hand the crop which forms the basis of their creations. I’m not sure how best to explain the feeling… it’s like going home, like filling in the blanks on the ancestry family tree or as a child, finishing a “paint […]

What is Fresh Chocolate?

What is Fresh Chocolate and why is Raisetrade important? Updated October 2015… a year on from the 2014 World Chocolate Forum we met once again with Chocolat Madagscar at the  2015 conference. Chocolate Madagscar have now produced the rather lovely film below showing how they grow and make their chocolate in Madagscar. The film speaks […]

You’ve made a cow very Happy today!

Cocoa the Cow

You’ve made a cow very happy today! Why we pay a fair price for cream and have signed up to the government’s Prompt Payment Scheme… I was reading the Sunday paper the other day about the plight of dairy farmers in the UK. It’s been difficult for them for many years now but the ongoing […]