Divine: Delicious Chocolate Fighting Exploitation
Ahh, chocolate, glorious chocolate. Whether you enjoy a few squares as a treat with a cuppa, or have a full bar as a post-lunch pick-me-up, we all have our favourite ways to enjoy chocolate. Aside from that, we all have our favourite chocolate brands too – and Divine is certainly up there with the very best, most sustainable (and certainly most popular!) of them all.
When you delve a little deeper into Divine’s ethos and sustainable supply chain, versus their high street counterparts’, it’s not difficult to see why they’re a firm favourite among ethically conscious shoppers.
Sadly, much of the chocolate we see lining shelves of supermarkets and convenience stores may come from unsustainable supply chains. The cocoa industry is worth over $100 billion dollars a year, yet an average cocoa farmer earns less than a $1 a day. This means on average, cocoa farmers earn just about 6% of the final value of a bar of chocolate. Exploitation and the resulting poverty have a range of damaging effects, ranging from child labour and deforestation, to lack of farmer voice and participation. Divine do things differently, and fairly.
Why Do We Need a Chocolate Revolution?
Divine’s Unique Business Model
Divine is on a mission to end exploitation throughout the cocoa industry, by putting people first. Divine is the only Fairtrade chocolate company co-owned by cocoa farmers. This means they gain a higher share of the wealth they help to create, have a voice in how things are run, and rest assured their voices are listened to. Divine’s mission is to help build a world where farmers thrive and prosper, and are no longer exploited by the cocoa industry for our chocolate pleasure. The Divine business model reflects the belief that producers should earn an equitable share of the profits they help to create, and have a say in their future.
Kuapa Kokoo is a co-operative of over 100,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, who take great pride in growing the finest quality cocoa for Divine products. They own a 20% stake in Divine, and a unique feature of the co-ownership business model means that Kuapa Kokoo has 40% board representation. The Co-operative is involved in both strategic decisions, as well as day to day initiatives such as marketing campaigns and impact storytelling.
Divine redistributes wealth to Kuapo Kokoo cocoa farmers through four streams of income:
- Fairtrade prices for all the cocoa they source for their chocolate products
- The Fairtrade Premium to invest in economic, social and environmental initiatives for the benefit of farmers, their families and wider communities
- Farmer-led Producer Support and Development programmes to increase resilience and secure sustainable livelihoods
- A share of distributable profits
Divine fights to tackle injustice in the cocoa industry, finds solutions for the challenges farmers face, and raises awareness and gains support among consumers who buy the chocolate. For over two decades, Divine has formed close and rewarding relationships with farmers, so understand profoundly what they need and the challenges they face. This unique business model built around co-ownership gives farmers the skills they need to forge their own sustainable future.