As the only farmer-owned chocolate company that I am aware of, Divine Chocolate is extremely special. Farmers in Ghana came together and decided to make a better life for themselves by selling chocolate direct to the market instead of to major multinationals. This is how KUAPA KOKOO was born and they are bring their story to London for Fairtrade Fortnight Monday February 25 to Sunday March 10
The co-operative chocolate venture is extremely special because not only have farmers taken their chocolate back into their own hands, but they are improving life for their families and their community in Ghana. Chocolate in some areas of the world can be a poverty crop, trapping farmers. In Ghana, chocolate can be better, can be more - it can be a livelihood with real job satisfaction, and that life-changing chocolate is on our shelves in our supermarkets.
Divine chocolate has also evolved as the farmers evolve and learn. It is so difficult to communicate how much of a difference it is making to cocoa growers owning their own chocolate company in a blurb on a bar (that hardly anyone reads), so Divine have decided to bring the farmers and their story to the street. Divine Chocolate is opening a pop-up shop!
During Fairtrade Fortnight, Divine Chocolate are going to show the British public in London just why they should be your chocolate of choice by opening a pop-up shop in Covent Gardens. You'll be able to meet the farmers (well, not all of them), see traditional dance, learn more about the farms and try two new flavours before they are available in shops.
Yes, you can buy Divine chocolate at Oxfam and yes you can also buy it in the supermarket, but why not meet the people behind the chocolate by buying it direct from one of the farmers and maybe hear his story! You won't be able to try the two new flavours in the shops until after Fairtrade Fortnight and one of them is going to be particularly popular I think - a 38% milk chocolate with toffee and sea salt. The bars only arrived in the London offices of Divine on Feb 14th and I was one of the lucky few to try that one and the 70% chili and orange. I think both are going to fast become favourites.
It's difficult for us to understand sometimes how much of an impact our chocolate choices can make to farmers. I am a huge fan of Askinosie chocolate because of Shawn's work with not just the farmers, but the community. Divine takes it one step further and shows us that we can buy direct from the farmers on our supermarket shelves and given the recent scandals, it is reassuring to know where your chocolate comes from.
For two weeks why not choose to buy from local farmers, local butchers and from companies who pay a fair price for commodities. Why not choose to buy your chocolate direct from the farmers and visit the pop-up Divine Chocolate shop. Buy a bar of Divine's brand new flavours and be a part of a grass-roots movement in Africa - ethical mass-market chocolate from a farmer-owned company.
If you're interested in visiting the shop, here's a brief itinerary of what is happening. For more details please do CHECK HERE
25/2/13 - Pop up opens: 71 Monmouth Street London WC2H 9JW
1/3/13 - free tasting of the new flavours all day - only place on the planet you can taste them
2/3/13 - free Azonto dance lessons
5/3/13 - free chocolate for all cyclists who visit the Pop Up
7/3/13 - Sewing and knitting event
8/3/13 - Fairtrade market day - six brands with stalls
A photo exhibition runs all week