Beyond Good, formerly Madécasse, is celebrating its one-year anniversary operating in Madagascar, where it has hired 42 full-time employees and produced one million chocolate bars at a state-of-the-art factory there.

“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, Beyond Good founder and CEO.

According to the World Cocoa Foundation, 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa but less than 1 percent 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. 

In contrast, there are zero layers of intermediaries in Beyond Good’s supply chain in Madagascar. It takes 10 days for organic, heirloom cocoa to become a Beyond Good 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,” McCollum said. “Of the more than 1,000 chocolate brands in the U.S. 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.”

In 2020, Beyond Good plans to double production at origin with more than 50 percent of chocolate bars produced in Madagascar. The industry average of producing at origin in Africa is 0 percent. 

“Our production model reflects our mission,” McCollum said. “Our brand name reflects our mission. Just being ‘good’ in the chocolate industry isn’t good enough.”