Written by Charlotte Borger -- Communications Director at Divine Chocolate, brand guardian, wordsmith, and tweeter at @basista (favorite Divine flavour currently 38% Milk with Toffee & Sea Salt).
I caught up with three of farmers who made the trip, while I was last in Ghana for the 20th anniversary AGM last month, and I asked them what they had made of the whole process of manufacturing Divine from their cocoa beans. They were amused to hear that I'd never seen chocolate being made.
“We didn’t know before what happens to our beans when they leave us,” said Appiah Kwateng a farmer from Mansu-Amenfi, and the elected secretary to the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union. “We learned about roasting, and crushing, and conching and how long it all takes,” he explained. “We even got to try making chocolate for ourselves – we made our own bars.”
Isaac Baidu, KKFU’s elected Welfare Officer from Tarkwa, was thrilled to see Divine Chocolate being created at the end of the process “we saw the Divine wrappers, and the Divine address on the back,” he says. “We got to taste other chocolates, but Divine is the most delicious.”
Isaac, Appiah and their colleague Yaw Sraha from Goaso-Asumura, all discuss which flavours they liked best – it’s a debate about who likes the milk chocolate vs who prefers the darker more intense flavours. “That’s our cocoa you can taste,” says Isaac.
Yaw found the whole experience mind-blowing: “We were overwhelmed and amazed,” he says.
“It’s made us more proud to be members of Kuapa Kokoo” he adds, with nods of agreement from the others. They have been going around the AGM showing pictures of them at the factory to fellow farmers who have all gathered from Eastern , Western and Central Ghana.
“I bought a football while we were there,” says Yaw. “I brought it back to my village and before giving it to all the kids, I told them about our trip, and about Kuapa’s own chocolate. They went back to their parents to tell them about Kuapa – a cocoa farmers co-op that owns its own chocolate company”.