Trading Visions, the educational charity set up by Fairtrade farmer-owned chocolate company Divine, is collaborating with Fairtrade Schools to bring two Ghanaian young people to the UK from September 27th to October 13th for a Fairtrade Kids Tour. Divine Chocolate's global headquarters are located in the UK, and the North American sales & marketing office is located in Washington, D.C.
The children from Ghana will be taking part in a series of conferences in London, Scotland, Liverpool and Cornwall talking to young people here about how Fairtrade makes a difference in their lives. Esther and Samuel (both 15) are representing Kuapa Kokoo, the co-operative of cocoa farmers that owns 44% of Divine Chocolate.
Esther Awusi and Samuel Awuni have been selected as Kuapa Kokoo ambassadors to come and share their perspectives and their experience of how Fairtrade has impacted their communities with their contemporaries in the UK.
Tom Steele, Manager of Trading Visions, says,
“This is the third time we have invited young people from the Kuapa Kokoo farming community to come over to UK, so they can find out more about our love of chocolate here and support for Fairtrade, and share their stories first-hand with schoolchildren here. It’s an incredible experience for everyone – meeting and hearing the Ghanaian children has more impact on schoolchildren here than a classroom text ever could. And in turn the young famers’ children have their eyes opened to the industry built on the cocoa grown by their families – as well as all the surprises and experiences being out of Ghana for the first time.”
With the international media regularly highlighting the potential risk to future cocoa supply – if our growing demand for chocolate around the world is to be fulfilled – the focus on the next generation of cocoa farmers becomes very important. Unless young people in Ghana today can see a future in cocoa, they will seek work elsewhere. It is becoming increasingly clear, as summarized in the “Cocoa Barometer” report, that unless cocoa farmers are able to receive increased income from the cocoa they grow, they will stop farming cocoa.
Trading Visions and Divine Chocolate are both working to enable cocoa farmers’ voices to be heard in the debate over the future of chocolate. Esther and Samuel will be here in the UK to help our next generation understand that Fairtrade, and its focus on fair and sustainable income for farmers, is a way of ensuring a future for cocoa and the chocolate we love.