What is more indulgent than a box of fine chocolate? For years, people have turned to cocoa as a remedy for a broken heart, a means of celebration and as a sign of showing affection. But where does the chocolate you consume really come from and who is making it?
Established in the UK in 1988, Divine Chocolate is the only company that is co-owned by over 85,000 farmers of Kuapa Kokoo, the co-operative in Ghana that supplies the cocoa for the brand. As owners, they not only get a say in the company, but profits and global recognition as well.
Understanding the importance of quality, Divine Chocolate, are frontiers in the chocolate making industry. Their slogan, “Owned by Cocoa Farmers – Made for Chocolate lovers” emphasises the importance of every step of production, especially when it comes to the farmers.
Being a part of the Fairtrade initiative, Divine was created to form a new method for economic trade. This method takes an ethical standpoint, and considers the producers first, in an attempt to emphasise equality in the market place.
Divine chocolate bar sales go into training and building capacity for women who are vital to the company. Women farmers make up most of the manual labour by fermenting and drying off cocoa seeds which are key stages to keeping quality high. You can read more stories about the women behind the brand on their site.
Kuapa Kokoo has prioritized equal participation and equal access for women since its founding. By increasing literacy and numeracy training in women, Divine enables them to earn income through other enterprises such as selling vegetables, clothing or baked goods.
Many farmers who aren’t part of a co-operative or part of a Fairtrade scheme, do not get paid fairly for their cocoa and can struggle to earn enough to survive. This is where Divine is different. They use all natural products, pure cocoa butter, no GMOs or preservatives. This innovative company structure was recognised when Divine was awarded Millennium Product status and nominated for Most Ethical company.
The first Divine product, launched in October 1998, was a milk chocolate bar. Since then the range has grown to over 50 products, including 12 different flavoured bars, seasonal specialities, chocolate gifts, drinking chocolate and cocoa.
The brand has made a name for themselves in their 30 years of production, keeping ethical standards and chocolate quality at an all time high. With global locations like Scandinavia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and as far afield as South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, Divine is rapidly expanding it markets to make the world a sweeter place.