06 February 2009

Winners announced for the annual Divine Poetry Competition 2008

Children’s author Anne Fine OBE judged the competition

Leading Fairtrade company Divine Chocolate and partner Christian Aid are delighted to announce the winners of the 2008 national Divine Poetry Competition.  Now in its seventh year the competition attracts thousands of entries from children and adults from all over the country.  Heading the judges for the final selection was acclaimed children’s author Anne Fine OBE.

On judging day Anne Fine said: “It is wonderful to see how all these young people have really grasped the concept of Fairtrade and expressed it in their own words. The poems that shone were the ones that stemmed from a truly individual perspective rather than from well-trodden notions. There were some lovely, carefully crafted poems.”

The theme for the 2008 competition was “A Divine Birthday” - a celebration of ten incredible years of Divine Fairtrade Chocolate and the difference it has made to the lives of thousands of cocoa farmers in Ghana.  Some wonderfully original and celebratory poems were entered from young and old alike. 

In the 7-11 age group the overall winner was Hannah de Freitas of Penwortham Girls’ High School in Preston, Lancashire with her thoughtful and catchy poem Divine!.  Two joint second prizes go to Madeleine Lydia Davies-Brown from Whittle-Le-Woods Church of England Primary School in Chorley, Lancashire and Declan Hendry of Corpus Christi Primary School in Glasgow.

In the 12-16 age group the top prize goes to Sophia Clemans of Torquay Girls Grammar School, Devon.  Her poem More Than a Bar of Chocolate is a wonderfully creative description of why Divine is extra special.  Two second prizes have been awarded to Hannah Constable of Penwortham Girls School in Preston, Lancashire and Jordan Braidwood of Emerson Park School in Essex.

In the 17-adult category the winner is Heather Ellis of New Barnet, Hertfordshire with her poem Divine: The Fruits of Chocolate.  The judges unanimously agreed that this poem was particularly evocative, conjuring up the growing, harvesting, fermenting and drying of cocoa beautifully.  One second prize was awarded to Katie Isherwood from Edinburgh.

The final judging process always focuses on reading the poems aloud, and this year Anne Fine was kind enough to join us for the final selection, filmed by Christian Aid TV.  Anne Fine was proud to support the Divine Poetry Competition after developing a personal interest in Fairtrade issues whilst working at Oxfam after leaving school and has followed the Fairtrade movement with interest ever since. 

Anne Fine added: “I am not normally keen on judging poetry competitions but wanted to make an exception in this case.  I'm a tremendously strong supporter of Fairtrade, so wanted to encourage everyone to learn as much as possible about how the world works, and our own part in it.  Learning always works best when you get the chance to voice your own ideas, and this competition is a most creative way to make that happen.”

Charlotte Borger, Head of Communications at Divine Chocolate adds: “We were delighted with the number of entries this year – and the Decade of Divine theme focused the aspiring poets on what has been achieved in ten years, and how we can all help make change happen. The winning entries will be part of our ongoing birthday celebrations.”

The winners will be receiving splendid Divine prizes, which of course include Divine chocolate, as well as book vouchers, t-shirts, special Divine 10th anniversary mugs, and education resources to share with their classes and teachers at school.

Ends

Please contact Charlotte Borger or Rosanna Mayhew on 0207 378 6550 for images and more information.

Editors Notes:

  • The next Divine Poetry Competition will be announced in the summer term.
  • The wining poems will be displayed are on www.globalgang.org.uk.
  • Christian Aid is an overseas development agency working to challenge and change the systems which keep people poor. As a member of the Trade Justice Campaign Christian Aid aims to change the current trade rules and practices so that many more of the world’s poor can benefit from trade. 
  • For more information on Anne Fine
  • Divine Chocolate Ltd is co-owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of 45000 cocoa farmers in Ghana who grow the Fairtrade beans for Divine and Dubble, and who share in the profits.
  • For more details about the Divine range of Fairtrade chocolate and the story of Divine and Kuapa Kokoo visit this website.
  • All Divine products carry the Fairtrade Mark. This is an independent guarantee certified by the Fairtrade Foundation that the ingredients are sourced under internationally agreed fair trade terms and conditions. These include a guaranteed, secure minimum price, an extra social premium payment for the farmers to invest in their own community programmes, long term trading contracts, decent health and safety conditions – all aimed at empowering farmers to make their own improvements to living standards and prospects for the future
  • Divine Chocolate has won a number of prestigious awards.  These include Good Housekeeping’s Favourite Fairtrade Product 2008 and Best Food Brand in the SHE magazine Ethical Awards 2007.  Divine Chocolate Ltd was awarded Best Social Enterprise 2007 at the Enterprising Solutions awards run by the Office of the Third Sector.  Divine recently won Best Ethical Business at The Observer Ethical Awards 2008.
  • The UK chocolate market alone is worth approximately £3.4 billion a year: if Fairtrade products can capture even a small proportion of that market, producers in developing countries gain real benefits.
  • For more details about the Divine range of Fairtrade chocolate and the story of Divine and Kuapa Kokoo visit www.divinechocolate.com
  • For sales and stockist enquiries contact Alistair.
  • Divine Chocolate Ltd is co-owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of 45000 cocoa farmers in Ghana who grow the Fairtrade beans for Divine and Dubble, and who share in the profits.
  • All Divine products carry the Fairtrade Mark. This is an independent guarantee certified by the Fairtrade Foundation that the ingredients are sourced under internationally agreed fair trade terms and conditions. These include a guaranteed, secure minimum price, an extra social premium payment for the farmers to invest in their own community programmes, long term trading contracts, decent health and safety conditions – all aimed at empowering farmers to make their own improvements to living standards and prospects for the future.
  • Divine Chocolate has won a number of prestigious awards.  These include Good Housekeeping’s Favourite Fairtrade Product 2008 and Best Food Brand in the SHE magazine Ethical Awards 2007.  Divine Chocolate Ltd was awarded Best Social Enterprise 2007 at the Enterprising Solutions awards run by the Office of the Third Sector.
  • The UK chocolate market alone is worth approximately £3.4 billion a year: if Fairtrade products can capture even a small proportion of that market, producers in developing countries gain real benefits.