Earth Live interviews Axel Emmanuel Gbaou from Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Despite producing 40% of the worlds cocoa, chocolate was too expensive for locals to experience.
To change this, Axel left a career in banking to become a chocolatier and in 2015 established The Ivorian chocolatier, to produce chocolate for the Ivorian market.
He explains that whilst eating chocolate in the West provides a moment of happiness, for cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, it brings misery. Axel has joined forces with a network of farmers and the community cooperative CoopBel, one of 3015 cooperatives demanding better rights and pricing. CoopBel is a groundbreaking organisation that’s managed by 200 women in support of their farmers.
Axel was featured in the Netflix documentary Bitter Chocolate and has won many awards including Chocolatier of Ivory Coast, Vice-Chocolatier of Africa and in 2015 President Ouattara named him Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
The LA Times: "The African cocoa farmers who are taking on Big Chocolate"
Check out this further interview with Ynzo Van Zanten, Chief Choco Evangelist, of Tonys Chocolonely, a Dutch based company working to make 100% slave-free chocolate the norm. https://www.earth.live/post/tonys