Lanzamiento_Organic_Aafrica_Chocolate_Sierra_Leona

Interview to Sergio Codonyer - Managing Director at Organic Africa Chocolate

Organic Africa Chocolate: A delicious treat of extraordinary quality, nutritional value, commitment and zero waste. 

"We have been trading our chocolate for more than five years now. Recently, we have expanded our operations to several African countries through partnerships with other social entrepreneurs, especially in Madagascar and Tanzania. In addition, after opening our chocolate workshop in Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona), we have made inroads into the European market". 

 

"The cocoa paste, originally from Sierra Leone, is enriched with superfoods and natural ingredients such as tiger nuts, dates, coconut milk, matcha tea, sesame and turmeric, among others... All of this is wrapped in zero waste packaging, made with plant based fibres and ecological inks. These products are available on the market at an affordable price of three euros".

1. What inspired you to produce organic chocolate in Sierra Leone?

Our journey began about 15 years ago. I was part of the Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic branch of The Coca-Cola Company, dedicated exclusively to support community projects in areas such as sustainable development, education, youth empowerment and environmental conservation.

With a clear purpose of improving people's quality of life in the countries where it operates, the foundation established itself in Sierra Leone, on the west coast of Africa. This emerging country is mainly driven by agriculture and faces significant challenges in terms of poverty, infrastructure and access to basic services.

The idea of producing organic chocolate in Sierra Leone came from my deep desire to positively impact local communities. We identified the opportunity to grow high-quality cocoa in the Kenema region, thus improving the living conditions of the inhabitants while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

This is how Organic Africa Chocolate was born, a social movement committed to farmers, sustainability, the fight against child exploitation and deforestation. What started as a small initiative of 20 farmers has grown exponentially, and today we are a network of almost 3,000 farmers cultivating the best cocoa in the region. With the further opening of 9 fermentation and drying centers, as well as a factory in Kenema, we guarantee the highest quality of our organic beans right from the origins.

2. What is the cultivation and production process behind organic chocolate?

As social entrepreneurs, in 2019 we decided to travel to Sierra Leone with a specific mission in mind: Work alongside local farmers to grow clean, pesticide-free cocoa, contributing to nature protection while promoting the development and empowerment of Sierra Leonean communities.

At OAC, we carefully select cocoa beans at the root, seeking out the most premium beans to unlock their full potential and elevate the quality of the chocolate to remarkable levels. Our entire process begins with dignified agriculture that respects and supports the health of the ecosystem, allowing us to offer authentic, natural and honest chocolate at competitive prices.

We partner with our farmers to work closely with them, fostering organic and environmentally friendly farming practices. From sowing the seeds to harvesting and processing, every step is carried out with meticulous attention to detail, with the aim of delivering a final product that reflects our commitment to excellence.

3. What are the main health benefits associated to chocolate on a nutritional level?

Organic chocolate, especially when consumed in its purest, additive-free form, is a true health treasure. This indulgent treat is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and essential minerals that not only delight the palate, but also offer a number of benefits to the body's overall wellbeing.

Antioxidants within chocolate, such as flavonoids, help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that regular consumption of chocolate with high cocoa content can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in the human body.

In addition, cocoa contains stimulants such as theobromine and phenylethylamine, which can elevate one's mood and provide a sense of wellbeing. These compounds can also have positive effects on our brain health, improving cognitive function, concentration and memory.

4. What measures are taken at Organic Africa Chocolate to ensure the quality and purity of the product? 

The cocoa is carefully selected and cleaned by Lizard Earth's partner farmers at our premises in Kenema (Sierra Leone). By carrying out this process at our source, we ensure the finest quality at every step.

From this whole selection, our chocolate is made with the beans we call "Diamond 1", i.e. the best cocoa variety available. Thanks to its outstanding quality, the resulting chocolate has a low level of bitterness as well as astringency, enabling us to roast it at a very low temperature in order to preserve all the valuable nutrients of this superfood.

At Organic Africa Chocolate, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality, purity and freshness in all our products. We use only certified organic ingredients and we assure our entire production process complies with the corresponding food safety standards.  

5. What is your vision for the future of organic chocolate in the food industry?  

Fortunately, in the last few years we have witnessed a growing awareness on the importance of taking care of our health and our planet´s. From a holistic perspective, especially in Europe, we see a rapidly rising interest in organic, healthy and natural products. By consuming that is good for us, we also contribute to the wellbeing of the environment, thus creating a virtuous circle that can address some of the current societal challenges.

Personally, I envision a future where organic chocolate, the one that cares of people and nature, becomes the norm in the food industry. I strongly believe in the power of organic food to promote health and wellbeing, and I hope to see a shift towards more sustainable production and consumption practices throughout the sector. Over time, I am confident that more people will recognise and value the benefits of organic chocolate, making it the preferred choice for chocolate lovers around the world.

For more information about OAC and its products, visit us on our website!

Website: Chocolate delicioso y sano – Organic Africa Chocolate
Contact Email for blind tastings: aitzi@doortoeurope.com
Chocolate shop in Esplugues de Llobregat: Av. de Cornellà 51, 08950, Barcelona

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

🌟¡Hola!🌟 As you know, beyond making #DeliciousChocolate, we are also passionately committed to the #Welfare of #OurSociety and the #Preservation of the #Environment🌍. Our outreach work not only generates smiles, it also drives sustainable development 💪 and boosts the empowerment of the farming communities in Sierra Leone.

📝
 Through this Blog, you'll dive into the amazing #Cacao universe and discover further about the #OAC project in #Africa. We sincerely hope you share our joint vision for a more fair and equitable world! 💬

I'm Aitziber, part of the OAC Marketing team and the author of this article 😊 We'd love to know what you thoughts are about it! 👇Leave us your comments👇

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.