Divine Chocolate is a leading social enterprise: a Fairtrade chocolate company that is owned by cocoa farmers. Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of over 85,000 cocoa growers in Ghana, own the largest share of Divine - 44% of be exact! This means that the farmers who grow the cocoa have a voice in how the business is run, receive a share of the profits and choose how to invest the Fairtrade premium they receive.
Divine was short-listed for our campaign highlighting our committment to empowering women cocoa farmers. Empowerment is at the heart of Divine’s social business model.
Why is it important to empower women cocoa farmers?
- Women work hard as farmers too (as well as looking after their children and homes) and have the right to benefit equally with men
- Women cocoa farmers are particularly involved in the stages of cocoa farming that ensure the cocoa quality
- Women invest their income in their families, the household and the communities, which helps communities thrive
Women cocoa farmers face particular challenges including literacy, accessing micro-credit and agricultural training to invest in their farms, land ownership, time poverty (looking after children, cooking for the family as well as working on the farm) and confidence.
Divine Women (Women's group of cocoa farmers, Yeboahkrom village, Dadieso, Ghana)
How Kuapa Kokoo and Divine have worked to empower women
- Ensuring women are represented at all levels of the organisation
- Encouraging women to start women’s groups in their villages – to offer mutual support, and share knowledge
- Ensuring women cocoa farmers have equal access to all training and education opportunities, farming equipment and inputs
- Giving women unprecedented opportunities to speak about their lives to audiences all around the world
- Ensure women can really benefit from all the above – running literacy and numeracy programmes to give women the skills and confidence to stand up and be heard, and take an active role in their organisation
How Divine celebrated Internation Women's Day
We launched a empowering women cocoa farmers report at a special event to share key learnings and successes. capturing how we have worked alongside Kuapa and other partners to address some of these challenges. We invited two female cocoa farmers from Ghana, Linda and Victoria to speak about their lives. Divine organised a Fairtrade Fortnight tour (26th Feb 2017-11th March 2017) and in that time Linda and Victoria visited 7 towns, travelled 1160 miles and spoke at 20 events!
Divine Women Event (Kristy Leissle, Linda Berchie, Victoria Boakyewaa and Sophi Tranchell)
We also wanted to connect UK chocolate lovers to this topic, so we placed a motif of a female cocoa farmer on the front of our best-selling bar and sampled the special edition Women's bars with campaigners, NGOs, government & partners. We also pitched the story to the press, created short films of UK women talking about empowerment and invited people to share their views on ‘empowering women’ on social media.
89 mentions of Divine in the press including features in The Metro, The Guardian, The Independent, The Grocer and Emerald Street
- 1 million reach on Twitter from 523 (unpaid!) tweets from 300 contributors
- #DivineWomen trending at No. 2 in London on the day of the Divine event!
- Over 500,000 video views on Facebook
Victoria met (and got tweeted by!) Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London at City Hall
Linda met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Scottish Women’s Convention at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
We are very proud of the campaign and would really appreciate your support to recognise our efforts to champion gender equality, as a brand that UK chocolate lovers trust and look to for leadership. If Divine won, it would demonstrate that it is possible to do business differently, that a chocolate company can be owned by cocoa farmers and be successful.
You can also show your support on social media using #SocEntAwards17
Voting closes Sunday 5th November 2017... so please vote now!