Our history

Since its creation in 1993, Kaoka has been fighting for organic, ethical, quality chocolate that is accessible to everyone in organic shops.

The Kaoka adventure began with André Deberdt, the company's founder and a true pioneer of organic and fair trade.

André Deberdt is one of those men of character, driven by strong convictions and capable of moving mountains. From the end of the 1970s onwards, he was a campaigner for organic farming and then took part in the early days of the Biocoop network.

A keen traveller, in 1988 he set up a programme to promote dehydrated organic exotic fruit in Togo. There, he discovered cocoa and had one of the world’s first organic cocoa certified! Unfortunately, the local political situation became destabilised and his business collapsed. But André Deberdt had developed a taste for cocoa and, starting from scratch, he founded Kaoka in 1993.

Image andre
It is inconceivable to buy cocoa if its producers cannot make a decent living from it.
André Deberdt founder of kaoka

Kaoka, one of the world's first organic chocolates

His project was revolutionary for its time. His vision? To offer a chocolate that respects nature and people, based on strong and lasting partnerships with producers, thanks to a continuous presence on the plantations.

Today, his children Guy and Maria Deberdt run the family business and continue to cultivate its values.

Key dates


  1. 1989 André Deberdt launches one of the world's first organic cocoa program in Togo.
  2. 1991 He markets one of the world's first organic cocoa bars: a 70% pure cocoa mass chocolate with no added cocoa butter.
  3. 1993 André Deberdt went one step further and founded Kaoka.
  4. 2000 KAOKA's Ecuadorian adventure begins, thus initiating the “Nacional” cocoa safeguard program in Ecuador.
  5. 2001 In the São Tomé & Principe archipelago, once nicknamed Chocolate Island, Kaoka embarks on an ambitious challenge, namely to restructure an abandoned sector and relaunch the production of high quality cocoa.
  6. 2009 KAOKA enters into a partnership with CONACADO, one of the largest cocoa growers' cooperatives in the world, in the Dominican Republic.
  7. 2011 After his passing, it is André's children, Guy and Maria Deberdt, who take up the mantle at Kaoka.
  8. 2013 In Ecuador, the cooperative evolves and forms CECAO, an export structure in which associations of cocoa growers are shareholders alongside Kaoka. The culmination of a strong and long-standing partnership!
  9. 2015 Kaoka creates the Colpa de Loros cooperative, with a group of Peruvian growers united by the desire to produce aromatic cocoa while preserving an endemic ecosystem. In 2018, it becomes Peru's 11th largest exporter.
  10. 2020 As the Covid crisis shakes the world, our integrated value chain model is proving its resilience in the face of change. Sanitary measures are in place and the purchase of producers' crops is maintained. We can continue to provide them with an income in these difficult times and honour our commitments to our customers.
  11. 2021 Kaoka has signed an €8.97 million public-private partnership with the French Global Environment Facility to combat deforestation by promoting agroecology and ecosystem conservation/regeneration in the cocoa sectors in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.
  12. 2022 Kaoka decided to campaign against mass balance, a practice that is becoming widespread in the fair trade chocolate sector, creating unfair competition and a lack of transparency for consumers.
  13. 2023 Kaoka has chosen to be transparent about the origins of its cocoa butter: a first in the world of chocolate!
We were pioneers in the French organic chocolate market 30 years ago, and we work hard every day to maintain that lead. Because Kaoka is first and foremost a human story and a lasting bond.
Guy Deberdt CEO of Kaoka

A unique approach

Right from the start, André Deberdt was convinced of the need to control the entire complex cocoa production chain, from varietal selection to processing, so as to be able to offer exceptional chocolate that is sustainable for the planet and future generations.

It is this integrated program model that Kaoka has been developing ever since, and which sets the French SME apart from other players in the sector.

Découvrir la démarche de Kaoka