At Divine Chocolate, we’re committed to providing premium quality chocolate to be enjoyed and cherished by everyone. However, when crops are compromised due to climate change, deforestation, and insect infestations, cocoa pods are more difficult to harvest, and chocolate production is affected.
Who We Are
At Divine Chocolate, we’re committed to providing premium quality chocolate to be enjoyed and cherished by everyone. However, when crops are compromised due to climate change, deforestation, and insect infestations, cocoa pods are more difficult to harvest and chocolate production is affected.
We work with Kuapa Kokoo Farmer’s Co-operative, a co-op in Ghana, West Africa that co-own our company and provide the highest quality cocoa beans to make our delicious chocolate. When their crops are struck with disease, ill amounts of rain or sun, ect, money is lost. This creates economic inequality for farmers and their ability to sustain their livelihoods with reliable income.
Our company mission is focused mainly around economic and social success and providing cocoa farmers with a voice in the global markeplace. This said, we understand that social and economic inequality are just two pieces of the puzzle in thinking about the role that the environment plays in keeping people and planet healthy and thriving. As a social enterprise, we implement sustainable solutions to larger issues facing farmers today. This Earth Day, we’re celebrating the ways in which we make conscious decisions that have positive impacts on the farmer, the farm, and you the consumer.
Palm Oil: An Environmental Harm
What is palm oil? Many people in the Global South rely on palm oil as a cheap nutrient source. Oil palm trees are harvested all year long and produce on average 10 tonnes of fruit for every 2.47 acres or 1 hectare. With less land needed to harvest the crop and a growing global population, it is the most efficient oil available to harvest quickly and cheaply.
Last year in 2018, the global production volume of palm oil was approximately 73.5 million metric tons, the highest it has ever been. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the US only consumes about 1 million tons of the oil per year, while nine other countries consume over 40% of the total amount. India’s population consumes 9.2 million tons and in Indonesia 7.3 million tons per year.
Oil palm trees produce an oil that accounts for about a third of the world’s vegetable oil. They grow within 10 degrees North and South of the equator, making them a large export in the Global South. Indonesia and Malaysia produce the highest amount of palm oil, and locals reply on it as a cheap and efficient nutrient source. While this tree brings economic wealth to some communities, it is not the most environmentally sustainable method to support our planet.
Tropical forests, which are home to many now endangered species, are cut down to make room to grow and harvest oil palm trees. Palm oil may be cheap to produce and support the local economy, but the cost to forests and wildlife poses a much larger threat to the overbearing issue of climate change. In this vicious cycle, the cleared land creates environmental issues that negatively impact the oil palm tree when harvested. One large problem is soil erosion, the act of topsoil eroding quickly due to the lack of tree roots to keep rain water from eroding the soil too quickly. Deforestation, soil erosion, and depleted resources for animals to survive all contribute to climate change through eliminating biodiverse plant and animal species that help each other thrive.
What Sets Us Apart
We have made the conscious decision to not include any palm oil in our products given the negative effect that harvesting the oil has on plant and animal life in many parts of the world. We are consistent in our drive to find sustainable solutions to problems rather than the cheapest or quickest way out. Instead of this controversial and harmful oil, our chocolate contains 100% pure cocoa butter to create the smooth and rich taste we know and love. Our chocolate is seriously delicious, both for the consumer and the environment.
Unlike other chocolate brands, our bars like our 70% Dark Chocolate bar contains just five ingredients; cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin, and vanilla. Instead of using soy, another environmentally harmful crop when not produced responsibly, is also excluded from all our products. We do not support including any ingredient in our chocolate that has a negative impact on people or planet.
Good news! If you didn’t already know, our packaging is 100% recyclable. The paper wrapping and gold foil that protects every one of our everyday core bars is recyclable. We regularly review our product packaging and make every effort to use recyclable materials and reduce waste while still ensuring our packaging is secure, appealing, and distinctive on the shelf.
Sustainable Supply Chain
Even our supply chain is sustainable. The paper used to wrap our chocolate bars is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means that all paper originates from forests that are responsibly managed and even provide environmental, social, and economic benefits. The FSC label allows consumers to recognize products that support the growth of responsible forest management worldwide. In turn, this creates a better space to understand how our actions and purchasing choices impact the environment.
When it comes to shipping our products, we do not use air freight for any product transport due to the negative impact jet fuels cause the environment. Furthermore, we find opportunities wherever possible to reduce or consolidate shipments to increase efficiency and reduce food miles traveled.
In our factory, 69% of energy used for electricity originates from renewable resources. We are aiming for 100% of our electricity to be provided by renewable resources by building a thermal power station on site. Furthermore, an energy manager and sustainability manager are on site to ensure our standards are met. Lastly, 63% of our total waste from production is recycled.
What You Can Do
As a consumer, you have the power to positively impact how companies do business differently by purchasing products from companies like Divine Chocolate that have transparent and goal oriented approaches to change how environmental materials are used. By supporting our mission and other B-Corporations and Fairtrade brands, you are supporting a healthier planet which in turn supports healthier crops and healthier people in every step of the supply chain.
For more information on Kuapa Kokoo Farmer's Co-operative, check out our page our Farmer Highlights. For more inforrmation on what we're about, follow us on social media @DivineChocolateUSA on Facebook and Instagram and @DivineChocUSA on Twitter.