In 2016, two children of Kuapa Kokoo farmers -- Esther Awusi and Samuel Awuni -- were selected to visit the UK as ambassadors of Kuapa Kokoo for a ‘Fairtrade Kids Tour.’ They came to share their perspectives and their experiences related to the ways Fairtrade has impacted their lives and their communities. The two 15-year-olds took part in a series of conferences in London, Scotland, Liverpool, and Cornwall. Read on below to learn more about their visit.
“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 and our support for Fairtrade while sharing their own stories first-hand with school children here,” explained Tom Steele, Manager of Trading Visions.
“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 farmers’ children have their eyes opened to the industry built from the cocoa grown by their families – as well as all the surprises and experiences being out of Ghana for the first time.”
The international media regularly highlights the potential risk to future cocoa supply, so 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’s visit in the UK hopefully helped the 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.