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Ivory Coast's bicycle-powered chocolate factory

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:48s - Published < > Embed
Ivory Coast's bicycle-powered chocolate factory

Ivory Coast's bicycle-powered chocolate factory

Despite producing more than two million tonnes of cocoa beans every year, not much finished chocolate is produced in Ivory Coast - let alone with the help of two wheels.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Ivory Coast's bicycle-powered chocolate factory

An unexpected method of chocolate making… This factory is in Ivory Coast -- the world's top cocoa-grower.

But despite producing over two million tonnes of beans every year, not much finished chocolate is produced in the country... let alone with the help of two wheels.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) ARTISANAL CHOCOLATIER, DANA MROUEH, SAYING: "The bicycle grinder is an opportunity for us to practice our eco-friendly philosophy.

We really want to have a minimal impact on the environment by using minimal electricity, and combine it with a short workout, which also makes it a playful process." As employees pedal away, organic cocoa beans are transformed into a paste by a grinder.

The rest of the Mon Choco factory process is entirely manual too -- right up until final packaging, (SOUNDBITE) (French) ARTISANAL CHOCOLATIER, DANA MROUEH SAYING: "One of our trademarks is that we do not roast the cocoa pods, we use raw chocolate.

That enables the cocoa pods to retain their flavour and nutritional value.

It's richer in protein, it's richer in anti-oxidants, and the taste is really different.

But organic cocoa beans are difficult to find in Ivory Coast, where the overwhelming majority of farmers use chemicals and insecticides.

That means that organic chocolate is expensive to make and caters primarily to the European market.

A single Mon Choco candy bar sells for around US$2.60 -- out of reach for most local consumers.

The cocoa industry is a serious threat to Ivory Coast's environment.

Campaign groups say that the country is at risk of losing all its forest cover by 2034.

Mon Choco hopes organic could be the way forward.




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