Co-owned by the 85,000 farmer members of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana
The Divine story
Back in 1997 the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers’ cooperative in Ghana voted at their AGM to set up a chocolate company in order to access a share of the valuable chocolate market, and a year later the first Divine bar was launched in the UK. Set up with the support of Twin Trading, Body Shop, Christian Aid and Comic Relief, Divine Chocolate was established with Kuapa Kokoo as the biggest shareholder.
Benefiting from the additional income from Fairtrade premiums, and the profit, knowledge and power that company ownership has brought, Kuapa Kokoo has developed into a thriving, democratic and dynamic organisation. Now with over 80,000 members, the farmers have voted to invest in a wide range of community improvements, as well as farmer training, and volume-related bonuses.
In addition to receiving the Fairtrade premium, and 44% of Divine’s distributed profit, Kuapa also benefits from Divine investing 2% of its annual turnover in the co-operative’s most progressive programmes including literacy and numeracy classes for women, a model farm project comparing farming techniques, and a national radio programme reaching Kuapa members across Ghana. Leading the way with projects empowering women in the organisation, and raising awareness of child labour issues, Kuapa Kokoo has negotiated many challenges of running a big cooperative and cocoa buying business in Ghana, demonstrating what is possible for smallholder farmers in Africa.
Traceable from bean to bar
Divine has championed Fairtrade and better ways of doing business, and aimed to delight chocolate lovers with delicious choices, which also empowers them to change lives. With a traceable supply chain from bean to bar - consumers can be sure the “best of the best” beans from Kuapa Kokoo are in each bar, and the Kuapa farmers, in turn, can take great pride in the cocoa they grow and chocolate company they own.
Divine are one of several brands who are pioneering innovation in Fairtrade. You can find out more about these brands, what they do and most importantly - what you can do to be part of making their vision a reality in our guide Doing Business Differently.