In 2015, twelve farmers from Kuapa Kokoo flew to Germany as the guests of Cord Budde, the managing director of the factory that manufactures Divine Chocolate. Read on below to learn more about their experiences, as written by Divine’s former Communications Director, Charlotte Borger.
I caught up with three of the farmers who made the trip when I was in Ghana for the 20th anniversary Annual General Meeting (AGM) last month, and I asked them what they had made of the whole process of manufacturing Divine Chocolate from their cocoa beans. They were amused to hear that I'd never seen chocolate being made.
“We didn’t know what happened to our beans after they leave us,” said Appiah Kwateng, a farmer from Mansu-Amenfi who was also elected secretary to the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU). “We learned about roasting, crushing, conching, and how long it all takes,” he explained. “We even got to try making chocolate for ourselves – we made our own bars.”
KKFU’s elected Welfare Officer from Tarkwa, Isaac Baidu, was thrilled to see Divine Chocolate being created at the end of the process. “We saw the Divine wrappers and the Divine address on the back,” he said. “We got to taste other chocolates, but Divine is the most delicious.”
Isaac, Appiah, and their colleague Yaw Sraha from Goaso-Asumura all discussed which flavors they liked best – it’s a debate about who likes the milk chocolate versus who prefers the darker, more intense flavours. “That’s our cocoa you can taste,” said Isaac.
Yaw found the whole experience mind-blowing: “We were overwhelmed and amazed,” he said.
“It’s made us more proud to be members of Kuapa Kokoo,” he added, with nods of agreement from the others.
They were going around the AGM showing pictures of themselves at the factory to fellow farmers who have all gathered from Eastern, Western, and Central Ghana. “I bought a football while we were there,” says Yaw. “I brought it back to my village, and before giving it to all the kids, I told them about our trip and about Kuapa’s own chocolate. They went back to their parents to tell them about Kuapa – a cocoa farmers co-op that owns its own chocolate company.”