Published on 10/3/20

Rebuilding a village in Madagascar

Valrhona-Millot : A Historical Partnership

We’ve been in Madagascar since 1986, working in close partnership with the Société Millot. For over thirty years we’ve worked together on growing, selecting and preparing the cocoa. In 2016, we decided to deepen this relationship with Millot even further by becoming a 40% shareholder in the plantation. This significant investment allows us to build on our shared ambitions, namely the implementation of a long-term development plan.

A renovation project finalized in 2019

As part of our long-standing relationship, in 2014 Valrhona and Millot agreed to launch a major project to rebuild the village of Andzavibe, ensuring 45 families’ safety and improving their living conditions in the process.

This project was finished in 2019 and the village was inaugurated in May that year.

All the project’s stakeholders came together for the occasion, including the local tradespeople who led construction, Millot staff, families, 25 specially invited Valrhona employees and more than 20 committed Valrhona customers (among them pastry chefs, chocolatiers and restaurateurs).

To ensure the project’s sustainability, an association was set up so that a bank account could be created for receiving rent payments. These moderate rents are intended as a way of instilling a duty of care and responsibility for the properties among residents.

Funds are primarily allocated to repair and maintenance operations.

A management committee made up of seven members meets monthly to make sure community life runs smoothly by drafting internal regulations and ensuring compliance, implementing maintenance schedules and prioritizing repairs. As the organization is embedded in the village’s structure, families are able to contribute to long-term improvements to living conditions.

A basic healthcare center was another part of this project, and was very quickly built in November 2015. Its aim was to enable people to access healthcare more easily and closer to home. In 2019, solar panels were installed to improve sterilization procedures for medical equipment following on from a recommendation by the chief medical officer, who coordinates and oversees the center's work.