Published on 4/21/22

Preserving the biodiversity of the Sambirano valley

Together, let’s celebrate the Earth not just today, but every day.

For the past century, we have taken each day as an opportunity to work with cocoa producers, creators and culinary enthusiasts so that we can make the cocoa industry fairer and more sustainable and develop creative, ethical gastronomy. As part of this approach, we have identified environmental protection as one of our priorities.

The Landscape project

Madagascar is a country that produces high-quality fine cocoa, renowned for its great aromatic richness. It stands out from other cocoa varieties by the finesse of its fruity aromas and its tangy flavor.

In Madagascar, cocoa plantations are concentrated in the Sambirano valley, in the north-west of the country. The valley is home to an extremely rich biodiversity that is now under threat. Indeed, 44% of Madagascar's natural forests have disappeared in the last 60 years (source: Biological Conservation). Beyond the environmental consequences (loss of biodiversity), deforestation and soil erosion affect the local population as their available resources dwindle.

Landscape Sambirano

The Valrhona Foundation has been committed to the Landscape project in Madagascar since 2020. Its purpose is to ensure the resilience of farms, preserve biodiversity and fight against deforestation in the Sambirano river valley.

This project led by the NGO Helvetas brings together different players of the cocoa industry: Valrhona, TFFC/Millot, Lindt and the NGO Earthworm. It involves working with the locals in the valley, whether farmers or not, local public authorities and stakeholders of the agricultural sector, involved in cocoa and chocolate, spices, perfume plants, etc.

Major project results

To date, the landscape project has managed to:

  • Carry out a regional risk analysis, via an inventory of biodiversity and the creation of a risk identification and management map for protected areas of the Sambirano basin. This map shows the protected areas and HVC/HCS areas (high value areas for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration).
  • The implementation of a local management system to deal with these risks and provide concrete solutions. This new body that makes it possible to sustain activities in the valley is called the COGEBS (Comité de Gestion de Bassin Versant du Sambirano/Sambirano Drainage Basin Management Committee). It meets regularly to design and coordinate the implementation of solutions throughout the valley.
  • The creation of a donor committee guarantee the sustainability of the project. It monitors the activities carried out by the COGEBS and ensures that its structure will last.
  • Protecting the banks of the Sambirano river
Ladscape - Sambirano

As a B Corp certified business, we are committed to improving for the well-being of people and the planet every day. There is still a long way to go but, by working TOGETHER, we will succeed in changing the paradigm.