Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chocolate on a Mission

Kuapa Kokoo is a co-op of cocoa farmers in Ghana, set up in the early 1990s. By pooling their resources, farmers were able to gain control of trading their own cocoa, managing the selling process more efficiently than government cocoa agents. One important aspect they oversee is measuring the crops, making sure that the scales aren't rigged at the expense of the farmer. In 1997, they decided to set up their own chocolate company to create even more benefits for cocoa growers. Divine Chocolate is now the most popular fair-trade certified chocolate in the UK, and it was recently introduced to the US. With a mission to empower their farmers to improve their livelihoods, Kuapa Kokoo has used its success to invest in building schools, digging wells for clean drinking water, providing mobile clinics for farmers in remote villages, and creating projects to help women earn money for their families when the cocoa season is over.