Chocolaterie Robert in Tana
Chocolaterie Robert is a traditional cocoa producer and chocolate maker using Trinitario and Criollo cocoa beans organically grown in the Sambirano region of Madagascar. The result is an irresistible range of pralines and chocolate bars made by ancient recipes containing only natural Malagasy ingredients.
The Malagasy cocoa, also known as “green gold” of Sambirano, has in recent years gained reputation for its superior quality amongst chocolate experts worldwide. However, Malagasy cocoa production remains relatively small-scale in comparison to other major cocoa exporting nations.
Chocolaterie Robert is a household brand name in Madagascar where its chocolate bars can be found everywhere from small village shops and department stores to upmarket confectionery stores and gift shops in cosmopolitan areas.
Chocolaterie Robert has a history of chocolate production dating back to 1937, when a French couple from Réunion Island, Mr and Mrs Robert, set up Madagascar's first chocolate factory in Brickaville, where pralines and chocolate bars were handmade. At the time of the rule of the last Queen of Madagascar, the area around Brickaville was where cacao plantations were first introduced to Madagascar.
Following the French colonisation, cocoa production eventually moved to the Ambanja region which became the preferred location amongst French settlers keen to supply a metropolitan France with agricultural products. In 1958, the factory changed hands to the Berger family and moved to its current location in Antananarivo. In 1977 the company was sold to the Ramanandraibe Group. In 1999 the first two La Chocolatière boutiques were launched in Antananarivo. In 2006 Chocolaterie Robert began shipping Mora Mora and Sambirano branded chocolates to Britain, which respectively won the Chocolate Academy's Silver Cup and the Best Buy Ethical Award. Since 2009, a range of chocolate bars branded VAO VAO are being exported to the United States through partner distributors.
In recent years, Chocolaterie Robert has combined its time-proven knowledge of chocolate production with the expertise of renowned French Chocolatier André Rosset who has advised the company in the latest trends and technologies in the fine art of chocolate making. All of Chocolaterie Robert's products are classified as pure and single origin entirely made in Madagascar. Dark chocolate made by Chocolaterie Robert is rich in flavonoids that occur naturally in Croille cacao beans. Unlike other dark chocolates derived.
Chocolaterie Robert is a major contributor to the local economy, providing employment for about 120 independent farmers and up to 200 factory workers. The company operates both as a cacao bean processor and chocolate manufacturer, using 500 tons of the total 4,000 to 5,000 tons annual cocoa production in Madagascar. To ensure premium quality cocoa, the Ramanandraibe Group has set up 23 support centers throughout the Sambirano Valley providing technical assistance to farmers. Fermentation tubs and drying areas for cacao beans are subsidized by the group. Madagascar cacao farming typically resides in the hands of small family businesses of farmers who live by their land and tradition while passing their skills onto future generations.
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