Divine Chocolate has a strong commitment to ‘doing business differently.’ We’re setting an example to catalyse change throughout the business world, ensuring we consider people and planet in everything we do. As a player in the world business arena, Divine also strives to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the specific targets set out by the UN aimed at ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change.
Divine Chocolate and Kuapa Kokoo, both led by women, are pioneering progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 5 — this goal aims to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
For more than two decades, Divine Chocolate and our farmer co-op partners have shared a commitment to empowering women. Together, we support women in cocoa farming so they may develop the skills and confidence to grow better cocoa, build better communities, and thrive in business.
We are proud to say that of the 100,000 Kuapa Kokoo farmers who co-own the company, more than a third are women. CECAQ-11, the farmer co-op in São Tomé which produces the cocoa in our Divine Organic range, is made up of 1,027 members. More than a third of the members in CECAQ-11 are women, too.
For Kuapa Kokoo and Divine, encouragement and mentoring of women has always been a priority. Investing in programs designed to teach valuable personal and professional skills is helping thousands of women bring money into their families, even during cocoa’s off-season.
With financing from Divine, Kuapa Kokoo has established targeted activities, including intensive adult literacy and numeracy classes, primarily focused on women. Classes like these quickly illustrate how life-changing a little learning can be. A farmer who learns to write her name is instantly in a position to be able to sign for things, record transactions, and better negotiate the world around her.
In March 2017, Divine Chocolate published a new report: “Empowering the women cocoa farmers of Kuapa Kokoo.” This report was a review of 20 years of learning and pioneering progress in addressing gender equality in the cocoa supply chain.
The report shows a timeline starting with Kuapa Kokoo’s establishment in 1993. It illustrates how the co-operative has introduced initiatives to work toward gender equality by collaborating with partners (including Divine Chocolate). These initiatives have encouraged and mentored women, giving them a voice in Ghana and on the world stage. Many of the farmers that have visited the UK and USA as ambassadors of Kuapa Kokoo and Divine have returned as leaders in their respective communities.
The report includes
The report was launched at a briefing event in the UK, bringing together the latest perspectives on the issues faced by women farmers in food supply chains and how to address them. The event featured speakers from Kuapa Kokoo, Oxfam UK, The Department for International Development (DFID), and Marks & Spencer.