How do the Kuapa Kokoo farmers benefit from owning Divine?
Is Divine suitable for vegetarians or vegans?
Could Divine be made more healthy?
Is Divine nut-free?
Is Divine organic?
Why are some ingredients in Divine not Fairtrade?
Is Divine wheat free?
Is Divine Kosher?
Is Divine only available from the UK?
Why isn't Divine made in Ghana?
How is Divine reducing its environmental impact?
What is happening in Ghana to ensure environmental conservation in cocoa farming?
What is Divine's position on deforestation?
Does Divine use palm oil?
Kuapa Kokoo owns 44% of Divine Chocolate and receives four income streams from their chocolate company. The first is the income from their cocoa bought at the guaranteed minimum Fairtrade price of $2000 per tonne, which protects the farmers from the volatility of the market. (When the world price is higher Kuapa Kokoo receives the world price). The second is an additional premium of $200 per tonne, which the cooperative invests in their own projects to improve the farmers' living, health and education standards, and farming productivity, as well as individual volume-related bonuses. The third comes from Divine's Producer Support & Development Fund (2% of Divine's turnover) which is invested in Kuapa Kokoo's most progressive programmes which focus, for example, on empowering women, researching best farming practice, and maintaining the organisation's co-operative values amongst members. And last but certainly not least,as the biggest shareholder in Divine Chocolate, Kuapa Kokoo also receives 44% of any distributed profit which the co-operative has used to buy key equipment for all its members.
In addition to the financial benefits and the training, community and farm improvements, and increased income the farmers choose to invest in, Kuapa members benefit in other important ways from owning Divine Chocolate. They have two representatives on the Divine board and are therefore closely involved in the development of the company. Owning a chocolate company gives Kuapa Kokoo farmers a voice in the cocoa industry and a ‘seat at the table’. Through owning their own company cocoa farmers have had unprecedented access to the industry they supply, and members have visited UK and other countries around the world to raise awareness amongst chocolate lovers about their lives and challenges. The Kuapa farmers are very proud that they own a company in the UK and USA, and hearing about how well their business is doing is very motivating and exciting.
All Divine products are suitable for vegetarians. All our dark chocolate products, except for Dark Chocolate with Toffee & Sea Salt, our Dark Caramel bar, and any future Dark Chocolate bars with nuts in are suitable choices for vegans, though we cannot guarantee these products are totally milk-free as milk is used elsewhere in the factory. Divine is also made with natural cocoa butter and vanilla, and contains no vegetable fat substitutes, we only use sunflower lethicin.
Divine chocolate is made with the best of everything - top quality cocoa, natural cocoa butter and vanilla - and that is what makes it so good and delicious. We feel that making big changes to the proportions of fat or sugar, or replacing ingredients with synthetic alternatives would mean creating an inferior product that fewer people would enjoy. Our aim is to make the best chocolate containing only natural ingredients that most people can enjoy as a treat, as part of a balanced diet.
None of the Divine products can be guaranteed totally nut-free as the factory where they are made handles nuts.
Divine Chocolate is not certified organic. This is because cocoa is very prone to diseases, which can quickly spread and wipe out huge areas of cocoa production, and in turn seriously endanger the livelihoods of thousands of farmers. As cocoa is vital to the Ghanaian economy, the Ghanaian cocoa board is being cautious about introducing organic production. Until enough tests have been done on organically approved pesticides in the Ghanaian context, introducing organic cocoa farming is considered high risk. If and when organic farming is considered safe, Kuapa Kokoo will undoubtedly consider its potential. It is worth noting that as pesticides are too expensive for most Kuapa farmers they rely largely on natural crop protection methods already.
It is also worth noting Divine is a natural product, made with natural cocoa butter and vanilla, sunflower lecithin, and no vegetable fat substitutes.
Divine is committed to using Fairtrade certified ingredients in our products whenever Fairtrade ingredients in the appropriate formats are available. All the cocoa, sugar and vanilla used to make Divine chocolate are certified Fairtrade. We are also proud to say that we source Fairtrade almonds from Pakistan, Fairtrade mangos from Burkina Faso, and Fairtrade coconut from Sri Lanka so Divine is helping to deliver a fair deal to farmers all over the world, not just Ghana!
On a few of our products you will see that a small amount of non-Fairtrade sugar and non-Fairtrade flavours are in some of our flavoured bars. This is because some ingredients we need to use come in a processed format that is not yet available using Fairtrade components – for example the sugar and natural peppermint oil that makes up the mint crisp in our Dark Divine and Mint. Whenever a Fairtrade supply of the ingredients we use becomes available, we make the switch, as we did with sugar and vanilla some time ago.
None of the ingredients in Divine contain wheat/gluten. However, they are produced in a factory which does produce items containing wheat/gluten, so we cannot guarantee that they are completely gluten free.
We are delighted to announce that the 100g and 45g Divine chocolate bars, Divine gold coins and 40g Dubble bars are now certified Kosher. The K certification symbol now appears on the back of our packs.
No - Divine is growing around the world! You can buy Divine in USA, Canada and Australia, across Europe, and in South Korea and Japan too.
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Our primary mission is to improve the lives of cocoa farmers in West Africa, and, by creating a farmer-ownership model we have ensured Kuapa Kokoo benefits financially from access to the highest point of the value chain. Introducing manufacturing in Ghana would not bring as much benefit, as well as introducing new financial and environmental restraints on getting the chocolate to market. As the UK market prefers milk chocolate, milk and other ingredients would have to be imported, and stocks would have to be refrigerated in factories and on ships as chocolate melts instantly in the high temperatures in Ghana, resulting in a product that would be much more expensive for people to buy.
As a responsible company Divine is conscious of its environmental impact, and we are committed to doing our best to continuously make improvements to reduce it. We use limited airfreight in our supply chain, and keep up to date with best practice regarding all the materials we use. Our packaging is reviewed annually with respect to environmental impact. While ensuring our products are all kept protected and delicious, as well as looking lovely and irresistible on shelf, we are constantly looking to reduce and improve our packaging. Latest developments include keeping our Easter Egg packaging to a minimum with no plastic, using only FSC paper and board, removing the cellophane wrapper from the Divine Advent Calendars, cutting down ‘chocolate miles’ in our supply chain, and sourcing almost all our seasonal packaging locally in the UK.
Twin, the NGO that helped to set up Divine, is working with its trading partners in Africa and Latin America, many of whom grow tree crops in tropical rainforests, to help them find ways to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change. Many of these producers are having to cope with increasingly erratic rainfall patterns that are effecting productivity. With support from Twin and local and international experts, these cooperatives are beginning to identify new or rediscover old production practices that can help them adapt to climatic change. In cocoa, for example, farmers can plant more shade trees in order to improve moisture conservation and increase biodiversity. Such tree planting projects are a ‘carbon sink’ and can therefore potentially attract payments from carbon offsetting schemes, which can help fund these important adaptation initiatives and even generate additional income for farmers.
Divine is 44% owned by the cocoa farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana. The cocoa from Kuapa Kokoo is not grown on plantations, which may require clearing of rainforest trees, but on individual smallholder farms which have been in farming families for generations.
Cocoa grows best in the shade of the rainforest canopy and the humid environment the rainforest creates is best for the midges that pollinate the cocoa. This is a major reason why the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo are actively conserving the tall forest trees. They are replacing old cocoa trees with new seedlings, and actually planting new hardwood trees.
Divine is committed to preserving the environment, and this is one of the reasons we choose not to use palm oil in any of our products so we do not support the destructive impact palm oil cultivation is having on virgin forest and its wildlife around the world. (See question below)
Palm oil is used in a large percentage of mainstream chocolates – its role is generally to keep fruit ingredients from sticking together in the manufacture process, and to create liquid or gooey textures, but it is also used in making chocolate itself. Currently palm oil can be listed as ‘vegetable oil’ in ingredient lists in the UK.
Our chocolate recipes do not include palm oil and we are working to detect any ingredient that may contain palm oil and looking for alternatives. We have recently successfully created delicious caramel bars, and selection of praline chocolates without using palm oil.
If we ever decide to make an exception to this approach it will be with independently audited traceable and sustainable palm oil, and will make this clear on any packaging.