Ep. 9 (Parts 1&2): Your chocolate is probably African

Although cacao’s birthplace is across the upper Amazon in South America, 70 percent of cacao comes from West Africa. In this two-part episode, we’ll explore the history and politics of chocolate and meet the farmers who make it all happen. In part one, you’ll meet Rick Scobey of the World Cocoa Foundation and author and journalist Órla Ryan, who will talk about the historical significance and present-day cultivation of cocoa in Africa. In part two, Simran Bindra of Kokoa Kamili explains the growing popularity of specialized varieties. 

Guests include:
Rick Scobey, president of the World Cocoa Foundation, who explains the kinds of cocoa grown in West Africa and the CocoaAction initiative.

Órla Ryan, author of Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying in West Africa and journalist at the Financial Times, on the history of cocoa cultivation in West Africa.

Simran Bindra, director of Tanzanian cocoa supplier Kokoa Kamili, on what happens when a country known for commodity cacao starts to grow more specialized varieties. (Episode image and slideshow images courtesy of Kokoa Kamili.)

Subscribe here and listen to parts one and two below.

Click here for music attribution.

Watch this TEDx talk by Steve Wallace titled “Creating Value in Africa” and take a look at images of cocoa processing and transportation in Tanzania by Kokoa Kamili below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.