Not many cocoa farmers have tasted the fruit of their labor. Despite the rising demand for chocolate and rising cocoa prices, the majority of farmers growing the crop are poor.
Divine Chocolate hopes to change that model. While the company may not be the first British Fairtrade company, Divine is unique in its ownership structure—it’s almost half-owned by 85,000 chocolate producers.
In 1997, the Kuapa Kokoo Farmer Cooperative voted to establish a chocolate company. With the help of Twin Trading, The Body Shop, Christian Aid, and Comic Relief, Divine Chocolate was born. Now, with over $18 million in sales in 2015, Divine is on the rise. The premium chocolate is sold in over eleven countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Japan.
Kuapa Kokoo farmers receive the Fairtrade premium as well as 44% of Divine’s distributed profits. The cooperative also benefits from a Producer Support and Development Fund (2% of Divine’s UK turnover and 1% of its USA turnover). To date, over £1 million has been invested in the Fund, which supports a wide range of development projects focused on developing sustainable smallholder communities that empower women and youth in cocoa communities.
In addition to its Fairtrade cocoa, which originates from Ghana (with a small portion sourced from Uganda), Divine also sources Fairtrade mangos from Association TON in Burkina Faso, Fairtrade vanilla from Madagascar, Fairtrade coconut from Small Organic Farmers Association (SOFA) in Sri Lanka, Fairtrade almonds from Mountain Fruits Farmers Association in Pakistan, and Fairtrade sugar from Kasinthula Cane Growers Association in Malawi.
Some of Divine’s most delectable flavors include Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, Milk Chocolate with Toffee & Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange. Each chocolate wrapper features adinkra symbols, visual symbols common among Ghana’s Ashanti people. While over fifty adinkra symbols exist, Divine highlights common designs such as Denkyem (adaptability), Kokrobotie (teamwork), Ananse Ntontan (creative, complex, and wise), and Dua Afe (caring, love, and nurturing) because these are aligned to its core values.
Over the years, Divine has partnered with a wide range of brands including Cabot Creamery, which is also owned and operated by farmers, as well as Stonyfield Organic, Honest Tea, Wholesome!, Dr. Bronner’s, Mata Traders, Dsenyo, Glee Gum, Honest Tea, and Ethical Bean Coffee.
Hoping to sample some of Divine’s delicious flavors? Check out these cheese and chocolate pairings ideas via Cabot Creamery:
Seriously Sharp has a sour, tangy flavor which pairs perfectly with the tartness of the Dark Chocolate with Raspberries. Or try it with Divine Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange; the invigorating zest of those flavors is exactly what is needed to balance the slightly bitter notes of Seriously Sharp.
Cabot’s Alpine Blend has been aged to creamy, nutty perfection. Pairing this cheese with Divine’s Dark Chocolate with Whole Almonds accentuates both its nutty flavor profile as well as the slight “grana” texture similar to Parmesan. When combined, the taste seems at once familiar and also completely unique.