Divine Chocolate Limited is a leading purveyer of Fairtrade chocolate. It was originally established in the UK in 1998 as a company limited by shares owned by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers' co-operative, the Fairtrade NGO Twin Trading and The Body Shop, with support from Christian Aid and Comic Relief. The Body Shop subsequently handed their shares over to Kuapa Kokoo which now owns 45% of Divine Chocolate Ltd.
Divine Chocolate claims that its trading system is unique even in the sphere of Fairtrade, in that farmers own the biggest stake in the company and share its profits.
Its first product, launched in October 1998, was Divine milk chocolate. Since then the range has grown to over 50 products, including 12 different flavoured bars, seasonal specialities, chocolate gifts, drinking chocolate and cocoa. Another brand espcially for young people, Dubble, was launched in 2000 in collaboration with Comic Relief. Divine Chocolate in the UK is available in most major supermarkets nationwide, many independent stores, Oxfam, and from the leading wholesalers. Divine Chocolate launched in the USA in February 2007. In the US, Divine Chocolate is available in many natural foods stores, food co-ops, independent gift shops and in many Wild Oats Markets across the country, and online through SERRV International. Divine was recently approved as a vendor for Nordstrom department store.
Following The Body Shop handing all their shares in the company over to Kuapa Kokoo in 2007, Divine Chocolate Ltd is now owned by the following organizations:
- 45% owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a Fairtrade cocoa farmers cooperative in Ghana.
- 43% shares are owned by Twin Trading, an alternative trading organization based in London.
- 12% are owned by Oikocredit, a Dutch microfinance institution.
Awards and accolades
Divine Chocolate was voted Observer Best Ethical Business in 2008, and Best Social Enterprise in 2007. Divine was also voted Favourite Fairtrade Product by Good Housekeeping in 2008. Most recently two Divine products have received 2013 Great Taste Awards (Guild of Fine Food).
Divine Chocolate was a runner-up in the 2002 Worldaware Award for small businesses. The nomination recognized Divine Chocolate for "its courageous and creative marketing stance in favour of fair trade in the highly competitive chocolate confectionery market".
- "Not Just Heavenly, It's Divine". Sojourners Magazine. May 2007. pp. 30–35.
- Divine Chocolate USA
- Divine Chocolate Limited (2007) Leading Fairtrade Chocolate Company Becomes Even More Divine. URL accessed on January 15, 2007.
- Siegle, Lucy (8 June 2008). "Observer Ethical Awards 2008: Green at heart". The Observer (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Worldaware Business Awards 2002 - The Trade Partners Award for Small Businesses in Africa