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Ivory Coast entrepreneur pours love and patriotism into fine chocolate

Ivory Coast entrepreneur pours love and patriotism into fine chocolate

IT was love at first sight for Viviane Kouame when, as a teenager growing up in Ivory Coast, she first saw cocoa trees with ripe pods on their trunks that reminded her of babies clinging to their mothers' backs. She decided cocoa would be a part of her life, and in 2021 she set up her own company, Chocovi, to make and sell chocolate. "I want to be the face of Ivorian chocolate," said Kouame, a rare female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry. Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa beans, but the vast majority are exported and…
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In Africa’s fields, a plan to pay fair wages for chocolate withers

In Africa’s fields, a plan to pay fair wages for chocolate withers

ANGE ABOA and MAYTAAL ANGEL IVORIAN cocoa bean farmer Edouard Kouame Kouadio expects to die poor, despite rising demand for the raw material that feeds the world's insatiable appetite for chocolate. More chocolate than ever is eaten globally, but a flagship programme launched in 2019 that promised a living wage to growers like Kouadio in top cocoa producers Ivory Coast and Ghana has left many worse off, data and interviews with growers, traders and industry experts show. Kouadio and more than a dozen Ivorian farmers consulted by Reuters said they were paid well below a price set by the government,…
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