Divine Chocolate recently released its Impact Report, which outlines the company’s continued commitment to supporting farmers through its investment in farmer-led initiatives in adult literacy and numeracy, labor rights, gender empowerment and sustainable agricultural practices.
In collaboration with Kuapa Kokoo, the cocoa farmer co-operative that co-owns Divine Chocolate, Divine is committed to propeling change along the cocoa supply chain, enabling farmers and their families to flourish while addressing issues ranging from child labor and gender inequality to deforestation.
Highlights of Divine’s Impact Report include:
Advancing Farmer Community Programs
Designed and executed by farmers for farmers, Divine’s Farmer Community Programs fund investments in key areas that are fundamental to enabling farming communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods. To this end, in 2021:
- 246 learners were enrolled in the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Programme; nearly 70 percent were women
- 597 tenancy agreements were signed to safeguard the rights of tenant farmers
- 110 women in 20 communities were trained on sustainable farming practices resulting in 10,000 cocoa seedlings produced and 10,000 graftings carried out
- First profits from a new maize mill were disbursed to empower women and assist in diversifying income, enabling women to start small businesses.
Continued commitment to product excellence
In 2021, Divine’s Dark Chocolate Pink Himalayan Salt won a Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Food in the UK.
A brand relaunch to help drive change
In 2021, Divine launched its new campaign, “Delicious Chocolate Fighting Exploitation.” The campaign embodies the company’s mission to give farmers an equitable share of the wealth they help to create, a voice in how things are run, and assurance that their needs will be met.
Branding was also refreshed across the full product range to highlight best-in-class sustainable cocoa sourcing through Fairtrade, as well as Divine’s unique “Co-owned by cocoa farmers” business model. The campaign’s theme is carried out in social media and marketing as #JoinTheChocolateRevolution.
A new partnership with HALBA
Divine Chocolate has embarked on a new partnership with HALBA, a leading producer of Swiss chocolate, to support sustainable livelihoods for Kuapa Kokoo farmers through a multi-stakeholder approach that promotes income diversification, climate resilience and biodiversity conservation.
The project supports dynamic agroforestry – a nature-based farming system that combines a variety of trees alongside cash crops, allowing farmers to grow diverse food staples like yams, maize and cassava in addition to cash crops such as cocoa and bananas. Divine Chocolate will finance seeds of the annual crops for 120 farmers within 30 hectares designated for Dynamic Agroforestry.
A new partnership with Grow Ahead
In partnership with Grow Ahead, a nonprofit online lending and funding program that connects individuals and organizations directly to family farmer organizations, Divine Chocolate has pledged to plant 10,000 trees with Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana. The goal of this agroforestry project is to reforest cocoa farms and farmlands to create microclimates, reducing the impact of climate change on cocoa farmers and the cocoa industry.
“Climate change is significantly impacting the West African cocoa crop, which needs to grow in shade,” said Troy Pearley, executive VP and general manager, North America. “By planting trees with our Kuapa Kokoo partners, we can help ensure this delicate crop continues to flourish and that the farmers and communities that grow cocoa can continue to thrive.”
Divine will match up to $5,000 in donations with the goal of raising $10,000 to plant 10,000 trees. For more information and to donate, go to growahead.org/divinechocolate.