Divine Chocolate is a global social enterprise that champions farmers. We're on a mission to be the world's no.1 farmer owned chocolate company, respecting the dignity of workers and Fairtrade standards. Our award-winning chocolate is empowering producers and customers globally to participate in the pleasure of delicious, ethically produced chocolate and earn a fair wage and support rural farms. Divine Chocolate is a social enterprise driven by a mission to grow a successful global farmer owned chocolate company. Using the power of chocolate to delight and engage, Divine brings people together to create dignified trading relations, thereby empowering producers and consumers. The Kuapa Kokoo Farmers’ Union, a co-operative of 100,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana is a shareholder in Divine Chocolate. They grow high quality coco and their farmers earn a share of the profits, making Divine Chocolate the first in the Fairtrade world.
In the early 1990s, structural changes in the cocoa market in Ghana prompted Nana Frimpong Abebrese to begin creating a farmer-owned company to help farmers sell their own cocoa. Nana was a visionary farmer representative and independent representative of COCOBOD (a Ghanaian government-controlled institution that fixes the buying price for cocoa in Ghana). With the support of Twin Trading, a fairtrade company aiming to support cocoa farmers, Nana and a group of other farmers found ways to ensure the net gains of the company would belong to farmers, farmers could be paid in cash, and fair trade premiums could be invested in social programs.To ensure more benefits for cocoa farmers, a new co-operative of cocoa farmers called Kuapa Kokoo is established on Fairtrade principles. The co-operative was named by Hannah, Nana Frimpong Abebrese’s wife; kuapa kokoo means ‘good cocoa farmer’ in the local language of Twi. The co-op’s mission has the welfare of its farmer members at its heart and aims to empower them in their efforts to gain a dignified livelihood. With support from NGOs like Twin Trading, and SNV, Kuapa Kokoo initially started with a membership of 2,000 farmers from 22 villages, and was soon certified to sell Fairtrade cocoa, which would bring them a social premium they could invest in their farms and communities.
The farmers vote at their annual general meeting (AGM) to set up a chocolate company of their own in the UK. Instead of aiming for the niche market, the co-op decides to produce a mainstream Fairtrade chocolate bar to compete with other brands. Kuapa Kokoo’s motto is pa pa paa - which means ‘the best of the best’ in the local Twi language.
Divine does not use any palm oil in its chocolate and aims not to use any additional ingredients that contain palm oil. This is for a number of reasons: Rainforests are still being cut down to plant palm oil plantations and we do not want to subscribe to the impact this has on the environment and animal habitats. Divine is also conscious that palm oil is used as a cheap oil alternative in a large percentage of the processed foods we all eat today, and so we choose not to add to that high level of consumption which may have health implications. Lastly, as natural cocoa butter is crucial to the real flavour of chocolate we choose not to substitute it with a fat that adds nothing to the quality and fine taste of our product. Our chocolate recipes do not include palm oil and we are working to detect any ingredient that may contain palm oil and looking for alternatives. We have recently created delicious caramel bars, and selection of praline chocolates without using palm oil.
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