A guilt-free indulgence that’s also a force for good
Travellers with a taste for all things delicious will quickly find their happy place at the Afrikoa, an artisanal chocolatier based in Cape Town.
With a small factory tucked away at Makers Landing, situated at the heart of the V&A Waterfront, this small but growing business is pioneering the art of ethical Direct Trade chocolate-making in Africa.
“Our award-winning, luxury chocolate is available in a wide range of handcrafted bean to bar gourmet products from truffles, caramels and hand-cut bars,” says Arno Ralph, Head Chocolatier.
“We also offer premium baking ingredients used by the most prestigious restaurant groups and wine farms in South Africa adding some sustainable and ethical flavour to the upmarket food and wine scene.”
Pioneering the art of Direct Trade
To enjoy guilt-free chocolate takes more than looking at the sugar content. The global cacao industry is one of the most problematic food industries, with unfair international trade deals in many regions.
It’s thanks to companies like Arikoa that are actively changing this. Having built up a reputation as a must-do experience for visitors to the Mother City, this local enterprise is committed to producing high-quality products that don’t come at the expense of local cocoa farmers.
The team at Afrikoa fully believe in the art of chocolate-making within Africa, using cocoa beans that never leave the continent and supporting farmers directly (Direct Trade). They have built a strong relationship with The Tujikomboe Cocoa Farmer Group in Tanzania, using heirloom cocoa beans which are endowed with a high flavour value.
“Our Tanzanian sourced cacao and direct trade relationships with farmers creates a unique opportunity for companies stocking our products to ensure they are adhering to social and environmental sustainability best practices without compromising on taste and quality for their clients,” Ralph adds. “We have also developed a wide range of vegan and keto-friendly options for this emerging market demand.”
By trading directly with Afrikoa, Tanzanian cocoa farmers are able to earn significantly more than they would if any intermediaries were involved. Without any middlemen, each party becomes solely dependent on each other´s success, ethics, and professionalism.
The sweet side of culinary tourism
Local businesses like Afrikoa offer a foodie experience that ties into culinary tourism – a growing sector where travellers visit new destinations to sample authentic cuisine.
The rising demand for food-focused travel has allowed many individuals across the African continent to enter the tourism world and better their economic circumstances. In turn, travellers are being exposed to new and vibrant food which carries an element of heritage, culture, and most importantly, sustainability.
“Our direct consumer and business partner relationships are vital to supporting local empowerment, and the creativity of production possibilities are endless,” says Ralph. “We welcome the opportunity to work with our tourism family to supply retail, mini-fridge, pillow drop and restaurant supply product as well as premium and custom client and corporate gifting options,” he concludes.
Afrikoa will be hosting a live session at WTM Africa 2022 entitled Bean to Bar: How one chocolate company is supporting farmers and their local communities on 11 April, Spotlight Stage, 16:00 – 16:20.
If you’re looking to further support socially conscious businesses during your time at the show, and actively participate in South Africa’s growing culinary offering, pay a visit to Makers Landing at the V&A Waterfront.