What is 'Fairtrade'?
Being accountable to the standards of Fairtrade means:
- there are production management procedures in place,
- processes and information available and accessible regarding environmental management,
- specific labor conditions in accordance with human rights laws, safety and labor laws, and anti-discrimination laws;
- the development of good business practices that focus on transparency, democracy, and participation
How is Divine Chocolate connected to Fairtrade?
Only ingredients can be certified fair trade, but end products are able to use the FAIRTRADE Mark if they meet the licenser's requirements. Divine Chocolate is licensed by Fairtrade America, the independent, non-profit, local marketing organization for Fairtrade International, working with businesses in the USA who buy and sell Fairtrade products, and license the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark. Fairtrade International is made up of its global Fairtrade organizations, like Fairtrade America. As a system, Fairtrade is half-owned and governed by our farmers and workers, who have 50% of the votes in the Fairtrade General Assembly. Fairtrade International is responsible for the development of the Fairtrade Standards for products to support farmers and workers.
For chocolate to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, every ingredient that can be sourced as Fairtrade must be Fairtrade. The percentage of ingredients that are certified Fairtrade must be displayed on the packaging and at least 20% of the content (dry weight) must be certified. (FairtradeAmerica.org)
At Divine Chocolate, each and every one of our products carries the FAIRTRADE Mark.
You can find the FAIRTRADE Mark on our packaging. The FAIRTRADE Mark – sometimes described as the Fairtrade logo – is a registered certification mark found on over 30,000 products worldwide. Products carrying the Mark meet the internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards.
What are the Fairtrade Certified ingredients in Divine Chocolate?
- Fairtrade cocoa (in all products) from Ghana
- Fairtrade sugar (in all products) from Malawi
- Fairtrade vanilla (in most products) from Madagascar
- Fairtrade almonds (Dark Chocolate with Almonds) from Pakistan
- Fairtrade mangoes (Dark Chocolate with Mango & Coconut) from Burkina Faso
- Fairtrade coconut (Dark Chocolate with Mango & Coconut) from Sri Lanka
The key ingredient for chocolate is, of course, cocoa.
Divine Chocolate sources the cocoa in each of its products from Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (Kuapa Kokoo) in Ghana. Kuapa Kokoo has 85,000+ registered members who are primarily smallholder cocoa farmers organized into about 1,300 communities in 57 primary Societies (Districts) in six cocoa growing regions. Kuapa Kokoo gained Fairtrade certification in 1995 in order to supply ethically produced cocoa beans to the certified market. This made Kuapa the first Fairtrade-Certified smallholder farmers’ organization in West Africa. (KuapaKokoo.com)
What does Fairtrade deliver to farmers?
How does Fairtrade benefit the cocoa farmers who are members of Kuapa Kokoo?
- An accurate recording system -- Kuapa has a strong reputation for using accurate weighing scales and using scales that are understood by illiterate farmers. The farmers are encouraged to check the scales against things of a known weight. Kuapa has commissioned the production of "weight stone", equivalent to a full, single sack of cocoa which are carried in Kuapa Kokoo vehicles and operations staff carry out official random checks to ensure the village recorder is using accurate scales.
Gender empowerment -- Kuapa aims to enhance the active and effective participation of women in decision making throughout the organization. Measures have been introduced to ensure that a minimum number of members of the various councils and committees are women. Over time this has ensured women have more influence and make more contributions to the organization. For a lot of info about women's empowerment, visit http://empoweringwomen.divinechocolate.com.
- Guaranteed price system -- The price is what the farmers get for the sale of their cocoa beans. Providing that their production methods meet internationally audited conditions regarding, for example, minimum health and safety conditions and that the organization is democratically run, the producers receive a guaranteed price for their goods and the security of long-term trading contracts. The Fairtrade price is a minimum price, meaning that if the world market price is lower, farmers receive the Fairtrade price. If the world market price is higher, farmers receive the higher price.
- Fairtrade social premium projects -- The Fairtrade premium serves like a "bonus," on top of the price farmers receive for their beans. As part of the Fairtrade guidelines, the co-operative must develop a plan for the spending of the premium, and different projects can be voted on democratically. As such, Kuapa Kokoo has the ability to receive input from its 85,000+ members and allow them to each have a say in where the money is needed most in their communities. As an organization organized under co-op principles, members have their voices heard through democratically elected representatives who are able to advocate for individual villages and districts at the national level.
Examples of projects that Fairtrade premiums have funded include:
- Schools built in Kuapa Kokoo farming villages
- Separate toilet facilities for men and women
- Bicycle program - enabling children to get to/from school more quickly
- Building wells to create more access to clean water
- Radio program for farmers- giving them access to information and resources