28 February 2007

Divine Chocolate will be celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight (26th February – 11th March) this year with a guest from Kuapa Kokoo, the Ghanaian cocoa farmer’s cooperative that co-owns the company. Kuapa Kokoo research and development officer Erica Kyere is joining Divine Chocolate for a series of events in UK and Ireland, to present her personal experience of how Fairtrade is helping the lives and prospects of the cocoa farming community.
The Divine tour will include visits to Hull, Manchester, Dublin and London where Erica will attend a variety of special Fairtrade Fortnight events, and meeting local dignitaries, shoppers, retailers, schoolchildren and MPs. There will be opportunities for Q and As as well as plenty of Divine to sample and enjoy.
Divine will also be celebrating Ghana @ 50 – fifty years of independence – during Fairtrade Fortnight, as well as International Women’s Day.
The Divine Fairtrade Fortnight itinerary will include two Business Breakfasts in London – one hosted by Aviva and City of London, the other hosted by JP Morgan to celebrate International Women’s Day, as well as visits to London schools, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ghanaian independence. In Hull events include events with local businesses, Fairtrade activists, schools and a local restaurant all organised the Hull Fairtrade committee. In Manchester events are lined up with the Christian organisation New Wine, major retailers, and The Slattery – the chocolaterie and chocolate workshop. Next stop Dublin – where Divine listings are growing fast – and a series of events to meet the retailers, and movers and shakers behind Fairtrade’s growth in Ireland.
During Fairtrade Fortnight Divine will be aiming to continue building awareness of the delicious Divine range of chocolates, and giving many different audiences an opportunity to hear first-hand details of the benefits Fairtrade is bringing to smallscale cocoa farmers in West Africa.
Fairtrade Fortnight is organised by the Fairtrade Foundation, and this year’s theme is Change Today, Choose Fairtrade. Erica Kyere will be championing that theme – and presenting excellent reasons for choosing Divine!
Divine Chocolate Ltd (formerly The Day Chocolate Company) was established in 1998, after the members of the farmers’ cooperative Kuapa Kokoo voted to set up their own chocolate company in the UK. At that point Kuapa Kokoo owned a third of the company, and today, now that one of the original founders The Body Shop has donated its share to the cooperative, Kuapa Kokoo owns nearly half the business.
This farmer-owned model of chocolate business makes Divine Chocolate Ltd a Fairtrade pioneer. With a latest annual turnover of £9m, the company has shown that fair trading and farmer-ownership is a viable model for growth – and with Divine listings growing rapidly year-on-year, Divine Chocolate is clearly a delicious and increasingly popular choice for chocolate lovers nationwide.
This month Divine Chocolate Inc is launching in the USA.
For further information please contact Charlotte Borger on 020 7378 6550 or charlotte@divinechocolate.com
Editor’s notes• This week the Fairtrade Foundation will announce that sales of Fairtrade certified products reached an estimated retail value of £290m in 2006, an increase of 46% over the past year, and in 2007 sales are already running at an annual rate of at least £300m. Meanwhile the actual volumes of products, the benchmark for defining the real benefit returned to producers, rose by over 60%. • Visit our new temporary website at http://www.divinechocolate.com/. You can click through to our old website from there – where updates on our Fairtrade Fortnight tour will appear.• Find out more about Fairtrade at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/• Divine Chocolate Ltd (formerly The Day Chocolate Company) is co-owned by Kuapa Kokoo, Twin Trading and Oikocredit• Divine chocolate is made with Fairtrade cocoa and Fairtrade sugar (from Malawi), and all natural cocoa butter and vanilla – to give a smooth, melt-in the-mouth real chocolate flavour. The cocoa has been harvested, fermented, sun-dried and turned by hand on family-owned farms across central, western and eastern Ghana, in the shade of the equatorial rainforest.• All Divine products carry the Fairtrade Mark. This is an independent guarantee from the Fairtrade Foundation that the ingredients are sourced under internationally agreed fair trade terms and conditions. These include a guaranteed, secure price above the world market price for cocoa, an extra social premium payment, long term trading contracts, decent health and safety conditions and a commitment to support for community programmes aimed at empowering farmers to increase their abilities to be self sufficient.• Sales of Fairtrade chocolate and cocoa grew by 100% from 2003-2005 (Fairtrade Foundation/Mintel)• Fairtrade marked food market growing faster than any other ‘ethical food’ market. It grew 265.1% from 2002-06 compared to organic 52.5%. (Fairtrade Foundation/Mintel)• The UK chocolate market alone is worth approximately £3.16 billion a year: If Fairtrade products can capture even a small proportion of that market, producers in developing countries gain real benefits.


26 February 2007

Welcome to our Divine chocolate tour for fairtrade fortnight in 2007. Erica and the team will be visting folk all around the UK. They will be visiting towns including Coventry, Hull, Leeds, London, Manchester, Stockport, and Reading. They will also be taking a trip to Dublin in Ireland.

Keep reading here for details on who we met and what we said.