In autumn 1998, Divine, the first ever Fairtrade chocolate bar aimed at the mass market was launched in the UK.
The cocoa for the chocolate comes from a farmers’ co-operative based in Ghana named Kuapa Kokoo, which means good cocoa growers. Its mission is to empower farmers in their efforts to gain a dignified livelihood, to increase women’s participation in all of Kuapa’s activities, and to develop environmentally friendly cultivation of cocoa.
Kuapa Kokoo weighs, bags and transports the cocoa to market and carries out all the necessary legal paperwork for its members. Kuapa strives to ensure that all its activities are transparent, accountable and democratic.
Cocoa from Ghana is of a high quality and trades at a premium on the world market. Kuapa Kokoo’s motto is pa pa paa – which means the best of the best in the local Twi language. Kuapa’s premium quality cocoa is now sold to chocolate companies around the world.
It doesn’t cheat the farmers by using inaccurate weighing scales, as other buying agents often do, and because it operates so efficiently, it can pass on the savings to its members. After seeing the benefits Kuapa gains for its members, more and more farmers want to join and the association now has upwards of 65,000 members organised in approximately 1400 village societies.
As shareholders, the farmers also receive a share of the profits from the sale of Divine.