11 October, 2016

Six ways farmer ownership is changing cocoa grower's lives

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by Gemma Hood for Divine Chocolate

It’s National Chocolate Week, a celebration of fine quality chocolate in the UK. It’s the perfect time to savour delicious Fairtrade chocolate and discover new flavours to cherish.

 

At Divine, we love it when chocolate brings people together and we believe it tastes even better when it’s shared – whether it’s with a friend over coffee, a treat at the end of a family meal or celebrating a special occasion.  

When you buy Divine Chocolate, you’re not just sharing the love with friends and family – you’re also sharing your appreciation with the Fairtrade farmers who grow the cocoa in all Divine chocolate. Divine is 44% owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of 85,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, meaning they share in Divine’s profits as well as receiving a Fairtrade premium price for the best of the best or ‘pa paa pa’ cocoa they grow. 

Discover six reasons why receiving more income from Divine makes a big difference to the lives of Kuapa Kokoo members, direct from the farmers themselves. You’ll find each of these farmer’s stories inside the wrappers of the little bars in Divine’s new Chocolate Tasting Set, with 12 cute little bars in six fabulous flavours - perfect for sharing.

1. Democracy

‘Farmers join Kuapa Kokoo because it’s a democratic organisation. For us, democracy means we have a say in the company. We can tell our needs, and if something goes wrong we air out our grievances and the leaders will listen.’ Sampson Cobbina, Wassa Kropong society

2. Medical care  

‘Farmers in my society now enjoy free medical care and I use the Fairtrade premium I receive to sponsor my siblings’ education and cater for my parents in their old age.’ Esther Ephraim Mintah, Agyedum society

3. Empowering women

‘It is very important for women to take part in leadership positions because women are a part of Kuapa Kokoo and they take part in all aspects of the cocoa production. By taking advantage of the opportunities Kuapa provides, women learn together how to improve their farms and their family’s incomes.’ Juliet Brago, Awaham society

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Turning and checking beans

 

4. Clean water

‘At first, we had to walk 3 miles to get water. Often it was not clean and we had to filter it before drinking. Even then it still smelled and sometimes had worms in it. Now because of Kuapa Kokoo and Fairtrade, we have good drinking water which makes us very comfortable.’ Gladys Okai from Domeabra-Funaso

5. Fair systems

‘We were being cheated and not paid on time so we joined Kuapa Kokoo as we had heard it was a fair and democratic organisation. We found it was true, Kuapa is a very good company. Each week farmers contribute their ideas and every four years important positions are contested and elected.’ Elias Mohammed from Bayerbon3 society

6. Education

‘With the Fairtrade premium I have paid for my five children to be educated. My eldest is now qualifying to be a nurse.’ Mercy Zaah from Krobo Odumasi

To help you share the love and discover the taste of the best of the best Ghanaian cocoa, we’re inviting chocolate fans across the nation to host their own Divine Chocolate tasting this Chocolate Week. Apply for a Divine Chocolate Tasting Set and find out more about hosting your own chocolate tasting at www.divinechocolate.com/uk/tastedivine.

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