Divine Chocolate Supports Women Cocoa Farmers

Katey Gorski Uncategorized 0 Comments

This holiday season, Divine Chocolate is supporting Whole Planet Foundation with a portion of sales from their Advent Calendar at Whole Foods Market stores. Learn more about their connection with our mission and the other initiatives they support: 

At Divine Chocolate, we value our partnership with Whole Planet Foundation because women’s empowerment is one of our core values. This holiday season, we are proud to be supporting the Foundation’s microcredit programs by making a $0.05 donation for each Divine Chocolate Advent Calendar sold in Whole Foods Market locations nationwide.

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Divine Chocolate sources all of its cocoa from the 85,000 cocoa farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana. Not only does Kuapa Kokoo supply this cocoa, but the cocoa farmers co-own Divine Chocolate itself, giving them a share in the profits and a say in the global marketplace.

On the back of this year’s Advent Calendar, Divine tells the story of the women cocoa farmers in Kuapa Kokoo and gives more information about the programs the cooperative is implementing to support them. Not only is Divine Chocolate making a $.05 donation to the Whole Planet Foundation for every Advent Calendar sold, but 5% of sales of this item will help fund these initiatives.

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Women contribute a significant amount of the labor on a cocoa farm, including much of the work related to fermentation and drying of beans – the key stages that ensure product quality. Despite women’s important contributions, cocoa farming is largely regarded as men’s work. Historically, women have had little access to the income from cocoa farming. Divine is working to change that.

Women cocoa farmers are common in Ghana. But they tend to have smaller, less productive farms. Due to an historic lack of education for girls, low levels of literacy make women less able to participate in training and more susceptible to being cheated. Conversely, Kuapa Kokoo has prioritized equal participation and equal access for women since its founding. Women have been learning a range of income-generating skills and are encouraged to take positions of responsibility throughout the organization.

Here are Four More Reasons Why Divine Supports Women’s Training Programs:

Research commissioned by Divine, Kuapa, and Twin on nearly two decades of work with women has convinced us that supporting women’s training programs makes an impact.

  1. Equal training for women in cocoa farming practices helps women improve farm productivity and cocoa quality.
  2. Advancement of women as recorders (elected buying clerks) provides opportunities to earn additional income.
  3. Women who earned extra household income used that money to keep their children, including girls, in school longer than families in villages where women’s training was not as available.
  4. Making women a priority leads women members of Kuapa to be loyal and encourages women to advocate for other women to join the cooperative. Kuapa is viewed as a positive resource for women.

Kuapa’s Women’s Programs increase training for women in cocoa farming practices to help women improve farm productivity and cocoa quality. The training prioritizes the following:

  • Facilitating the advancement of women as recorders (elected buying clerks) to provide opportunities to earn additional income
  • Ensuring that women’s groups are rolled out across all 58 cocoa farming districts
  • Increasing literacy and numeracy training for women to enable them to earn income through other enterprises such as selling vegetables, clothing or baked goods

Divine is proud to support these programs and the work of Whole Planet Foundation in order to empower women and small producers around the world.

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