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Divine Chocolate - Business Driving Social Change

Autor:   •  March 20, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  1,335 Words (6 Pages)  •  397 Views

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Krishnanath Gaitonde

Professor Peter Burrell

BA 7010

February 20, 2017

‘Divine Chocolate’ - Business driving Social Change 

A social enterprise is defined as “a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners”. Divine Chocolate is a global enterprise which, I feel, truly epitomizes these ideals, consistent with the concept of Conscious Capitalism as described by John Mackay and Raj Sisodia. Divine’s unique business model of producing and marketing chocolate products to the developed world, made from cocoa beans acquired with fair-trade pricing from Ghanaian farmers who also serve as ‘profit-sharing partners’ in the business, allows the organization to impact positive changes in the socio-economically challenged Ghanaian farming community.

The story goes back to the early 1990’s when some cocoa farmers in Ghana got together with support from NGOs such as Twin Trading (a UK based Fairtrade organization committed to ensuring that fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries) to set up a farmers’ co-operative called ‘Kuapa Kokoo’ – which means ‘good cocoa growers’. They wanted to standardize the cocoa trading practices and ensure that the farmers received fair prices in return for providing good quality ethically produced cocoa beans. Their organizational objectives were to provide a medium for the socio-economic and political empowerment of cocoa farmers, to enhance the participation of women in the decision-making process at all levels of operation and organization, and to encourage environmentally sustainable cocoa production processes. Their motto was "Pa Pa Paa" which means "the best of the best".

In 1998, Kuapa Kokoo decided to increase profitability from their cocoa sales, and improve access to the global market by producing their own, branded chocolate bar for sale in the western markets. They joined hands with Twin Trading, with support from The Body Shop, Christian Aid and Comic Relief, to start The Day Chocolate Company - named so in memory of Richard Day from Twin Trading who played a key role in this effort. The first batch of ‘Divine’ chocolate bars hit the supermarkets shelves in the UK by Christmas 1998. This was the first ever farmer-owned Fairtrade chocolate bar produced for the global market. in July 2006, in the true spirit of social entrepreneurship, The Body Shop handed their shares to Kuapa Kokoo thus increasing the co-operative’s holding from 33% to 44% and making it the largest shareholder of the group. The company name was subsequently changed to Divine Chocolate Ltd in 2007 to align with the flagship ‘Divine’ brand. On February 14th 2007, Divine Chocolate Inc was launched in the USA – further expanding the its reach into the global chocolate market

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