'Best for the World': Divine Chocolate is among world-wide B Corps honored this year for delivering best impact for communities.
Washington, D.C. -- Divine Chocolate, the leading international Fairtrade and farmer-owned social enterprise, was recognized for being one of the world’s B Corporations creating the most positive community impact. This accolade was based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by B Lab, the nonprofit organization which certifies companies as B Corporations. The 2017 winners are featured on B Lab’s ‘B the Change’ at www.bthechange.com
  
All Certified B Corps are independently assessed to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, covering Governance, Workers, Community, and Environment. Divine Chocolate is honored in the Best for Community list, those businesses that earned a Community score in the top 10 percent of more than 2,100 Certified B Corps around the world. 
 
Divine Chocolate is a $15M international company based in the US and UK, and is 44% owned by the Kuapa Kokoo farmers’ co-operative in Ghana. Divine scores especially highly due to its Fairtrade and farmer-owned business model which sees 85,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana benefiting from four income streams, with the power to invest in their own farms, families, communities and business, creating a sustainable future for them and for their crops. 
 
Sophi Tranchell, CEO of Divine, says: “We are delighted to have been granted the distinction this year as amongst the ‘Best for the World’ Certified B Corps. It’s a great affirmation that Divine Chocolate is successfully using business as a force for good.”
 
“For too long, business success has just been about revenue and profit,” Tranchell adds. “We urgently need more companies to consider how they make their money and the impact they have on employees, suppliers, environment, and community.”
 
“We applied for B Corp certification because we believe there is a pressing need for companies to be transparent and comparable in how they do business, and the B Corp framework helps to make this happen. We applaud the other companies cited as ‘Best for the World’ B Corps and hope that they provide inspiration for many more companies to join the global B Corp movement and compete to be Best for the World.”
 
Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, says: “Companies like Divine Chocolate exemplify what it means for a business to be a good citizen. We’re proud to recognize their achievement. ‘Best for the World’ is the only list of businesses making the greatest positive impact that uses comprehensive, comparable, third-party-validated data about a company’s social and environmental performance.”    
 
The Community portion of the B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s supplier relations, its commitment to diversity, as well as positive community impact. It also measures the company’s practices and policies around community service, including whether a company’s product or service is designed to solve a social issue, such as access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity and the arts. Honorees scoring in the top 10 percent set a gold standard for how business can be a force for good in communities around the world. 
 
Editor's Notes
 
Best for the World citations
The 187 winning companies in the Community category come from 80 industries and 34 countries. B Lab simultaneously released separate lists recognizing B Corporations as Best for the World (overall impact), Best for the Environment, Best for Customers, Best for the Long Term, Best for Workers and Race to the Top, which can be found along with the listing of Best for the World Funds at http://www.bthechange.com
 
Additional 2017 Best for the Community honorees include: Cooperative Home Care Associates; Better World Books; and Uncommon Goods.
 
A total of 874 Certified B Corporations were named 2017 Best for the World Honorees, including: Patagonia; Seventh Generation; National Co+op Grocers; Business Development Bank of Canada; and The Honest Company. Forty-eight countries are represented, including Afghanistan, Kenya, Nicaragua and Turkey. The selection criteria for Best for the World honorees are available at http://bit.ly/29ZYRSp.
 
Today there are more than 2,100 Certified B Corporations across more than 130 industries and 50 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business. Any company can measure and manage social and environmental performance at http://bimpactassessment.net. 
 
Certified B Corps 
Certified B Corps are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 2,100 Certified B Corps in over 130 industries and 50 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business. 
 
B Lab 
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves B Corps, a global movement of people using business as a force for good.  Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and society will enjoy prosperity for all for the long term.  
 
B Lab drives this systemic change by: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing benefit corporation legislation to give business leaders the freedom to create value for society as well as shareholders; 3) helping businesses measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance with the free B Impact Assessment; 4) driving capital to impact investments through use of its B Analytics and GIIRS Ratings platform.
For more information, visit http://www.bcorporation.net.
 
Divine Chocolate
  • Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that is also co-owned by cocoa farmers. Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of over 85,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, benefit not only  from the Fairtrade premium on the sale of their beans, but also receive the largest share  (44%) of Divine’s distributable profits giving the farmers more economic stability, as well as the increased influence in the cocoa industry that company ownership brings.
  • Divine is a mission-driven business.  Its mission is to grow a successful global farmer-owned chocolate company using the amazing power of chocolate to delight and engage, and bring people together to create dignified trading relations, thereby empowering producers and consumers.
  • Divine invests 2% of its gross revenue in Producer Support and Development projects co-managed by Twin and Kuapa Kokoo, and in collaboration with local government and NGOs. These are aimed particularly at empowerment of women, maintaining good governance, and testing different farming techniques – and include an adult literacy and numeracy program, and a model farm project.
  • Divine Chocolate is GMO and palm oil free and has Kosher and Halal certified products. The Fairtrade cocoa in Divine chocolate is fully traceable from bean to bar.
  • Divine Chocolate awards include: Best Social Enterprise 2007, The Observer Ethical Business of the Year 2008, Social Enterprise of the Year 2014, The Guardian Sustainable Business Award for Social Impact Innovation 2015. Divine Chocolate CEO Sophi Tranchell was named 2010 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year (London & South) and 2016 Schwab Social Innovator of the Year.
  • Divine is sold in UK, USA, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Czech Republic, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
  • All Divine products carry the Fairtrade mark. This is an independent guarantee certified by Fairtrade International 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. For more about Fairtrade visit  www.fairtradeamerica.org.