Divine Chocolate tour in Ireland continues

7 March 2008
Mayor of Skibbereen and Divine Chocolate unveil the towns Fairtrade status

Divine Chocolate’s touring farmer’s visited Skibbereen, a small town south west of Cork to announce the town’s Fairtrade status with the Mayor of Skibbereen. An ex Nigerian cocoa farmer who now live’s in Skibbereen met the farmers and shared experiences. Congratulations to Skibbereen on achieving Fairtrade status!

A long day ended with a trip to Bantry – an idyllic village on the southern coast of Ireland. The wind was beginning to blow but the warmth and enthusiasm of our welcome was very touching.
After having been formally welcomed by Mayor Mary Haggerty and signed the visitors book in the Town Hall our party crossed the road to a fairtrade event at the
Christian Fellowship Church. The local Fairtrade Steering Group had organised a limerick competion, the first line being ‘There once was a producer from Ghana’. Over 200 entries were recieved and the farmers were delighted to hear the limericks and hand over Divine Chocolate hampers to the two winners.

Winner of the Bantry Limericks competition

Under 12 Winning Limerick
There was a producer from Ghana
Who liked to produce a banana
Be just and be nice
and pay a fair price
To himself and his wife Susannah

Under 18 entry Winning Limerick
There once was a producer from Ghana
Who worked in a field with a lama
He grew chocolate from seeds
For fairtrade societies
To be sold to your lovely old nana

Divine Chocolate at Cork Music School

7 March 2008
Paul and Kojo with the Mayor of Cork and guests

Fairtrade activists, local retailers, Oxfam, Trocaire and the Mayor of Cork welcomed Divine Chocolate and Kuapa Kokoo to the Cork School of Music. Divine gave presentations to the audience followed by Peter Gaynor, Director of Fairtrade Ireland. They then enjoyed a variety of Irish music played by the school.

Divine Chocolate Meeting the President

6 March 2008
Kojo and Paul presenting the President McAleese with traditional
Ghanaian Kente cloth and Divine Chocolates as Peter Gaynor from Fairtrade Mark Ireland looks on.

A trip to Áras an Uachtaráin (The Irish Presidential Palace) in Dublin, was a real treat for the Fairtrade farmers and their Divine Chocolate colleagues alike as they attended a reception hosted by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

This celebration of Fairtrade within Ireland was attended by Kojo and Paul from Kuapa Kokoo as well as Fairtrade business representatives and local Fairtrade activists from throughout Ireland.

After welcoming the guests the President clearly laid out her own personal support of Fairtrade and commented that she was confident that Fairtrade would become increasingly available throughout Ireland, as the Irish people stand for econmic justice and in solidarity with those less fortunate than themselves.

Whilst meeting a country’s leader is a new honour for most, Kojo later informed us that he also met both Tony Blair (Prime Minister of Britain), and John Kuffor (President of Ghana) when they visited Kuapa Kokoo, Ghana in 2002.

Divine Chocolate in Ballymun

6 March 2008

Divine Chocolate were welcomed by Global Action Plan and the Ballymun Fairtrade Steering Committee at their ‘Wake Up and Smell the Coffee’ event in Ballymun, near Dublin.
The evening was celebrated with a 100 guest’s from the local community who enjoyed the chocolate fountain oozing with Divine Chocolate as well as other Fairtrade sample’s and goodies. Paul and Kojo were the guest speaker’s and were followed by a screening of the highly acclaimed documentary Black Gold.

Belfast Mayor gets to try Divine Fairtrade Chocolate

5 March 2008
Paul and Kojo presenting the Mayor of Belfast with a Divine Chocolate hamper

Paul and Kojo met the current Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Jim Rodgers (Ulster Unionist Party – UUP) who explained that the Titanic sailed from Belfast in perfect condition. The Mayor proudly told the farmers of the city’s ongoing commitment with supporting Fairtrade.

Divine Chocolate farmers celebrate in Belfast

5 March 2008

Paul and Kojo enjoy Fairtrade drinks with a giant banana at a local Oxfam shop

Divine Chocolate’s David Greenwood-Haigh presenting at Queen University
From Wales to Ireland and the final leg of the Divines ‘Chocolate makes the world go round’ tour. Paul and Kojo arrived in Belfast to the sound of drums as the Oxfam Ireland shop on Rosemary Street arranged a Fairtrade party in honour of the farmers and Fairtrade Fortnight. There was even a giant Fairtrade banana, a must at all parties.
Then on to Queen University, awared Fairtrade status, for an evening with their business student’s. Divine Chocolate with Paul and Kojo gave presentation’s, followed by a local Fairtrade cafe, showing how Fairtrade is making a difference to farmers in Ghana and a difference to local businesses in Ireland.

Belfast Fairtrade Awards

4 March 2008

Today I attended the Belfast Fairtrade Award’s organised by the Belfast City Council at Stormont to recognise shop’s, restaurant’s and cafe’s who had actively promoted and sold Fairtrade product’s over the last year.
There were 7 categories to vote in:
  1. Best independent retailer
  2. Best supermarket
  3. Best café
  4. Best employer
  5. Best bar or restaurant
  6. Best school
  7. Outstanding contribution to Fairtrade

We were delighted to see Oxfam, one of our Divine Chocolate’s top customer’s, win 3 awards and Co-op winning an award for best supermarket.