Divine Chocolate, which sells 70 products around the world, grew out of a collaboration among thousands of farmers in the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana. Since launching in 1997, the company has faced challenges such as the need to find a factory, navigate currency fluctuations and compete with larger brands, said CEO Sophi Tranchell.
Offering cocoa farming cooperatives a share in chocolate companies would improve cocoa quality and yields while giving manufacturers greater control of the supply chains, according to Divine Chocolate, which is almost half owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a Ghana cooperative. "Clearly if farmers got shares in the company it would incentivize them to grow cocoa," said Sophi Tranchell, managing director of Divine Chocolate.
Divine Chocolate CEO Mark Magers has tried to be a truly sustainable, fair-trade chocolate maker by giving its cocoa farmers from Ghana a stake in the company. His farmers are members of the Kuapa Kokoo co-op, and have taken pride in their work as well as its importance.