Divine Chocolate leads the way in sustainability

By Charlotte Borger

POSTED 4th February 2020

As a social enterprise, Divine has always championed the power of business to make a positive change in the world.

Being 100% Fairtrade-certified lets everyone know all our products are delivering a fairer income to farmers, and our unique farmer-owned model has been acclaimed as a radical move towards a different, more equitable kind of business.

The decision to be certified as a B Corp in 2016 signalled our desire to demonstrate how Divine is committed to achieving best practice in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability not just in terms of our products, but in every aspect of our business. We wanted to join the worldwide B Corporation movement, now numbering over 3,200 companies in 71 countries, all aiming to be, in every way possible, “using business as a force for good”.

B Corp is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. It reassesses certified companies every three years and we are delighted to announce that this year our B Corp rating is up from 102 to 127, placing us among the top scoring companies around the world! This big rise is due to significant increases in points not only for Divine’s impact with farmers, for which we have been recognised three times as a “Best for the World” Honoree, but also for the company’s own governance and labour standards.

All B Corps are assessed for social and environmental performance across five key areas of business – governance, community, workers, environment and customers. The ratings in each area are available to the public and motivate companies to keep improving across their whole operations.

Divine’s CEO, Sophi Tranchell, believes B Corp certification is both motivating for the whole Divine team, as well as formalising Divine’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:

“Being a certified B Corp has given us a really effective framework for focusing attention on the sustainability of all areas of our business. We have a dedicated “B team” who work hard to gather all the data required for the assessments, and it is very rewarding for us all to see improvements across our business being acknowledged in this increase in our rating.

“It is important for the public to have the ability to be able to see for themselves what strides companies are making to be truly sustainable and B Corp certification does that. If certification is as motivating for other companies as it has been for us, together we are in a ‘race to the top’ to ensure business really is a force for good and is addressing the urgent global environmental, social and economic issues.

Since the last assessment Divine has started working with two more cocoa farmer organisations in São Tomé, and in Sierra Leone, and the increased scores recognised the growth in numbers of farmers receiving income and premiums from Divine, and innovative new farmer-led programmes investing in empowering women, training in sustainable agriculture, improving labour standards, and introducing Forest-Friendly farming.

The latest scores also reflect the company becoming a Living Wage Employer, and we have also introduced a range of benefits for staff including child care vouchers, a ‘cycle to work’ scheme, travel card loans, holiday increases related to length of employment and a company-wide bonus scheme. We also now have a dedicated staff committee to discuss and develop staff conditions and opportunities.


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