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Divine Chocolate Company
January 5, 2007
8:26 pm
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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Hello,
Has anyone tried the brand of chocolate called "Divine". It is made from a co-op group of farmers in Ghana and they are looking at going public soon in the US...anyone tried their bars yet? and if so what did you think?

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Robert

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
January 5, 2007
9:36 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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I've tried their 70% bar a while back. A commercial fairtrade chocoate, definitely better than Cadbury etc. and worth a try.

USA website
[url]http://www.divinechocolateusa.com/[/url]

International website
[url]http://www.divinechocolate.com/[/url]

Kuapa Kokoo Ghana, cooperative (coowner):
[url]http://www.kuapakokoogh.com/[/url]

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 5, 2007
11:32 pm
sunita
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
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October 26, 2006
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I have tasted three Divine bars. Their 70%, their milk chocolate, and their milk chocolate with hazelnuts bar. Each is Fair Trade certified by TransFair USA.

Their dark bar is not very complex, but not bad. The two milks are very smooth, creamy, sweet bars. To me they have the same kind of creamy sweetness of a Lindt milk chocolate bar.

The ethic of this company is remarkable, and their relationship with the cacao farmers should be a model for other chocolate makers.

The hope is that as they expand, they can improve the quality of their product, especially their 70% bar.

January 5, 2007
11:46 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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[The ethic of this company is remarkable, and their relationship with the cacao farmers should be a model for other chocolate makers./quote] I do support an effort like this but it can be challenged. Cocoa price in Ghana is goverment controlled. Where does the extra money payed for fair trade go? I don't know unless Kuapa Kokoo / Divine Chocolate provides transparancy.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 6, 2007
12:36 am
sunita
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
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Masur Wrote:
"I do support an effort like this but it can be challenged. Cocoa price in Ghana is goverment controlled. Where does the extra money payed for fair trade go? I don't know unless Kuapa Kokoo / Divine Chocolate provides transparancy."

Thank you for these comments, I agree with you! Transparency, transparency!

I agree that paying an artificially inflated price for cacao, coffee, tea etc, can (and should) be challenged. I also agree that it is critical that there be transparency for where and how the extra money is used.

My understanding of Fair Trade is that certification requires that there exist a local 'democratic' structure to decide how and where the extra money shall be used by the community, in a transparent manner.

It seems that Kuapa Kokoo does provide some information about how that money has been spent between 1993 and 2002. I am not sure why there is no data since 2002.

http://www.kuapakokoogh.com/pa.....ontentid=6

Third party, independent certification gives the Fair Trade Chocolate producer the credibility that it is being transparent, rather than having to simply trust the CEO's statement.

There are lots of problems with third party certification, and it is out of reach for many (most?) small farmers, who are doing the 'right' thing without certification... but there are fundamental flaws with in-house certification too... is this off topic, and should I start a separte discussion thread for this?

I am new to this discussion site, and I have already been off topic once with my previous post. I apologise.

January 6, 2007
1:38 am
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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Hey this is all discussion about the company...that is some of the stuff I would like to find out...thank you for all your guys' input so far...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
January 6, 2007
7:01 am
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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August 6, 2006
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There is no need to question how Fair Trade premium is used by co-op farmers (Kuapa) in Ghana. But I doubt 100% of Fair Trade premium payed goes back to the co-op farmers. If transparency is not provided we are not able to check if the govermant (the middleman) keeps part of the money. They might charge an extra fee. No transparency, no control. I don't think Divine provides total transparancy.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 6, 2007
7:15 am
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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I think there is an importance of knowing WHO is in charge...If you know the person who is most in charge and has the most influence then you can see more of how things will be ran. What comes to mind is Grenada Chocolate Company. Mott Green has a huge passion for Grenada and I can trust him when he says that he wants to do this to help Grenada and that he pays fair wages. I love his idea of just doing a small factory right in house. He is hoping to run it as a co-op with the farmers soon enough...
I think we could use more small factories in country as long as there are kind trustworthy people running the show and not businessmen looking for a buck....

With all this said, I do not know much about the fair trade politics but I just had that to say about people in charge and smaller factories...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
January 6, 2007
9:01 am
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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Fair Trade is a trustworthy label. It involves a lot of bureaucracy to provide proof on a regular basis. This might be frustating for a farmer but is needed to keep the label.
I agree with you Robert. I've listened to Mott when he visited London a few years ago so I know Grenada Chocolate Company provides transparancy. A film about the company can be found att YouTube.com but this is off topic so I will not provide a link.

The Day Chocolate Company mission (Divine Chocolate):

quote:


The overall strategic aim of Day is to improve the livelihood of smallholder cocoa producers in West Africa by establishing their own dynamic branded proposition in the UK chocolate market thus putting them higher up the value chain. To be the leading Fairtrade Chocolate Company

To achieve this mission a range of clear intermediate objectives are set-out :

- To take a quality and affordable range of Fairtrade chocolate into the UK mainstream market.

- To pay a Fairtrade price for all the cocoa used in the chocolate sold.

- To raise awareness of fair trade issues among UK retailers and consumers of all age groups.

- To be highly visible and vocal in the chocolate sector and thereby act as a catalyst for change.


I wish Divine could comitt to a rigorous behaviour code and provide transparancy. Thus we might trust them without a label if this is done properly.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 6, 2007
8:32 pm
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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July 5, 2006
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10

I am meeting up with their director of sales soon so I look forward to asking him questions about the company...I just don't know much abut them so it will be nice to heart it from someone from their company...we will see what we get...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com

Divine Chocolate Company | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum