Posted in Kafevend Blog
Cocoa is a major cash crop in Ghana, and the main agricultural export of the country. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, laying along the south coast of West Africa, and shares a border in the west with Ivory Coast, the top producer of cocoa. Cocoa is believed to have been introduced to Ghana in 1879 by Tetteh Quarshie, a Ghanian agriculturalist, when he bought seeds back from Equatorial Guinea.
The Divine Chocolate company was created by Kuapa Kokoo, a farmers cooperative in Ghana. The company was established in the UK in 1998, with assistance from the Fairtrade group Twin Trading, The Body Shop, Christian Aid and Comic Relief. Kuapa Kokoo now own 45% of the shares in Divine Chocolate, after The Body Shop decided to give them their 12% stake. With the biggest stake in the company, Kuapa Kokoo also receive a share of the profits generated, meaning even more money goes to the farmers who grow the cocoa.
Over 65,000 farmers are members of Kuapa Kokoo. Forastero cocoa is the main species in Ghana, and is mostly grown on small farms owned by families. A potentially damaging monoculture has been avoided, with the cocoa plants grown alongside other trees and plants that provide shade for the cocoa; some of the plants also provide food and additional income for the farmers. The farmers harvest, ferment and dry the cocoa beans before they are sold to Cocobod, the Government agency in charge of the international sales and export of all cocoa in Ghana.