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Exclusive Interview with Jon Marlow for Divine Chocolate

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What is the backstory of Divine Chocolate?

Divine Chocolate came about as a result of the Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative in Ghana seeing the opportunity to sell directly to the market in order to redress the vast inequalities that existed within the cocoa industry.  Supported by DfID and organisations such as The Body Shop and Comic Relief, Divine first emerged in the UK 24 years ago.

How would you describe the company culture?

We are one of the highest-rated B Corps in the UK and I think that says a lot about our culture and how we do business.  We are co-owned by growers, and we have 40% grower representation on our Board, so we have very direct links between our teams in the UK, US and Sweden and our farmer community in Ghana, and our decision-making is completely aligned with our mission of ‘delicious chocolate fighting exploitation’ as a result.

As a team, we work hard to collaborate, innovate, and grow sales of our lovely chocolate, and as a relatively small business, everyone plays a vital part in making a difference.

What are the core values of Divine Chocolate?

  • THE DIVINE DIFFERENCE
  • DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE FIGHTING EXPLOITATION
  • FROM AWARD-WINNING CHOCOLATE TO AN INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODEL THAT CHAMPIONS FARMERS, WE’RE COMMITTED TO DOING BUSINESS DIFFERENTLY

What inspired Divine Chocolate to create such a socially conscious brand, and why do you source your chocolate from Ghana?

As we are co-owned by Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, it makes perfect sense for us to source our cocoa from there, not least because we believe it is of the finest quality and the best we could possibly buy!

What is the history of how the cooperative started?

In the early 1990s, Kuapa Kooko (a farming cooperative in Ghana) decided to set up a chocolate company of their own. With the help of Fairtrade Twin Trading – Divine chocolate was born. The farmers made sure the net gains of the company would belong to farmers, farmers could be paid in cash, and fair trade premiums could be invested in social programs.

How many flavours do you currently sell, and what is your personal favourite?

We have a wide range of flavours in a number of different formats and are available in Milk and Dark.  We also produce a large range of Vegan-certified products, and my particular favourite is our Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt.  Truly delicious!

How important do you think Certified B Corporations will be for the earth’s future?

It’s vital that we balance our impact and always keep in mind people and the planet.  B-Corp is vitally important in demonstrating this commitment, and the explosion we are seeing with more and more organisations becoming B-Corps is very reassuring.  Our own B-Corp score has recently increased from 127.1 to 130.4, making us the highest-rated chocolate B-Corp, and we are also within the top 5% of businesses worldwide in the ‘Best for the World’ category and that’s down to the great work we do both with Fairtrade but also through our own Farmer Community Programmes which are truly transformational.

Highlights from 2021 include:
– Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in Ghana enrolled 246 learners in its Adult Literacy and Numeracy Programme and signed 597 tenancy agreements to safeguard the rights of tenant farmers.

Where do you think Divine Chocolate will be in five years?

I expect us to still be producing fantastic chocolate, growing strongly in the UK and across the globe, and as a result making a real difference in the lives of our growers.

Now, you have just been announced as one of the sponsors for the prestigious 11th annual National Reality TV Awards 2022. This is a fantastic achievement for your company. How excited are you to partner with the National Reality TV Awards?

It is massively exciting for Divine to be involved.  As an inspiring business, it makes perfect sense for us to sponsor the Most Inspiring TV Show 2022!

Where can readers reach you in case they want to purchase your Chocolates?

We are reachable on our website and social media as follows:  Website | InstagramFacebookTwitterLinkedIn

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