The company, which sources cocoa from more than 100 farmers, has produced one million chocolate bars, and employed 42 full-time staff in its first year of operation at its chocolate factory in Madagascar.
US making chocolate in Africa
Beyond Good claims it is the only brand in the US making chocolate in Africa.
“By making finished product in Africa, we are redefining high-quality chocolate and sustainability in the chocolate industry, challenging the status quo,” said Tim McCollum, founder and CEO, Beyond Good.
According to the World Cocoa Foundation, 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa; however, less than 1% of the world’s chocolate is produced there.
Supply chain fragmentation drives poverty, child labor, monocropping, and environmental degradation in cocoa-producing countries.
Most farmers earn less than $1 a day. The traditional African cocoa supply chain involves three to five layers of intermediaries and requires up to 120 days in transit from farm to factory.
McCollum added there are no intermediaries in Beyond Good’s supply chain in Madagascar. It takes 10 days for cocoa to become a chocolate bar. Farmers harvest cocoa and transport cocoa beans to the chocolate factory down the road, where the chocolate-making process continues. This model allows farmers to add value and earn five times the industry standard in wages.
“The global cocoa industry is fragmented. Of the more than 1,000 chocolate brands in the US market, Beyond Good is the only one producing chocolate at source in Africa. Unless we are fundamentally different in our approach, the industry will never change.” said McCollum.
In 2020, Beyond Good plans to double production at origin with more than 50% of chocolate bars produced in Madagascar. The industry average of producing at origin in Africa is 0%.