Kids everywhere love Divine Chocolate!

At Global Exchange we love to celebrate Fair Trade all the time, but this Easter, things will get even sweeter with free chocolate!

Come by anytime Saturday April 7 through Sunday April 8 and you’ll get a free piece of Fair Trade chocolate with any purchase of $20 or more at our Global Exchange Fair Trade stores. From handmade baskets to colorful spring gifts, Global Exchange is excited to help make your Spring have a positive global impact.

For some, Easter means nibbling cute chocolate bunny rabbits, but for many others, especially in West African cocoa-exporting countries, chocolate is a terrible reminder of the harsh reality of child slave labor.

Global Exchange remains committed to supporting Fair Trade cocoa producers around the globe and generating a better world for all of us, kids and adults alike. You too can show your support this Easter by purchasing chocolate from two amazing Fair Trade chocolate vendors: Divine Chocolate and Equal Exchange.

What makes Divine Chocolate so divine and Equal Exchange equally as inspiring? The cooperatives that produce the cocoa, of course!

How Fair Trade has impacted the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana and CONACADO in the Dominican Republic:

Fatima Ali, proud member of Kuapa Kokoo. Photo courtesy of Kuaka Kokoo.

Just listen to the shouts of “papa paa!” from the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, a cocoa cooperative started in 1993 which now owns 45% of the Divine Chocolate company itself. “Papa paa” means “best of the best” in the Twi language of Ghana, and is a motto which extends beyond the high quality of the cocoa grown by the farmers and into the cooperative’s commitment to Fair Trade and the betterment of members’ lives.

The social premium that members receive through the cooperative’s  Fair Trade certification translates into real benefits for the community at large, such as clean water wells. Kuapa Kokoo also has a strong focus on gender empowerment, which means that women like Fatima Ali, a local Kuapa Kokoo Society recorder and proud owner of a 5-acre farm, can aspire to leadership positions they previously thought impossible.

CONACADO producer & the bright orange cacao pods that become chocolate bars. Photo courtesy of Equal Exchange.

For over 25 years the worker owned co-op Equal Exchange has been advocating “Small Farmers, Big Change”– and it’s working. In the Dominican Republic, Equal Exchange’s farmer partner cooperative CONACADO has been able to sell over 40% of their cacao on the Fair Trade market.  By participating in Fair Trade, CONACADO has been able to provide school supplies and scholarships for members’ children as well as launch the “Cacao Route,” an eco-tourism project that also generates local income.

One woman who came by the San Francisco store said the other day, “It’s so great that kids these days can eat really good chocolate!” It sure is! And not only that, when you buy Fair Trade chocolate it means that cocoa-producing farmers benefit.


  • Check out this awesome recipe for Chocolate Satsumas, perfect for enjoying the marvelous citrus fruits that are in season at your local farmers’ markets. Or make a delicious Earl Grey Chocolate Tea Cake for your Easter Sunday brunch–(our stores sell Fair Trade tea too!) Have a great Fair Trade chocolate recipe? Share it in the comments!
  • Don’t forget to get your free Fair Trade chocolate. Come by the San Francisco, BerkeleyArlington, VA or D.C. stores  on Saturday April 7 & Sunday April 8.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Global Exchange is teaming up with farmer-owned chocolate company Divine Chocolate to celebrate the women of Divine’s farmer collective, Kuapa Kokoo. This Spring, Divine will be donating a portion of their sales to the Kuapa Kokoo’s Women’s Project; they’re teaching women cocoa farmers how to start small businesses, earn extra family income, and feel tremendous pride. You can show your support by purchasing Divine Chocolate 3.5 oz bars at the San Francisco Global Exchange Store (map) for the month of March, and we’ll give you $1.00 off!

Supporting Divine Chocolate and the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative is supporting real farmers, and not simply a chocolate company. Divine is the only Fair Trade chocolate company that is 45% owned by farmers. While being certified Fair Trade ensures that farmers receive a better price for their cocoa, company ownership gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits!

The partial liberalization of Ghana’s cocoa market in the early 1990s created a unique situation for cocoa farmers to organize in an industry where their voices were not being heard. Visionary farmer Nana Frimpong  Abrebrese organized a group of farmers to pool resources and set up a farmer’s co-op, which would trade its own cocoa, and thus manage the selling process more efficiently than the government cocoa agents. Kuapa Kokoo, which means “good cocoa growers,” was born.

In 1997, the reputable and fast-growing Kuapa Kokoo’s farmer collective had another idea. If they could manage a cocoa-farming cooperative, why not manage a chocolate company?

Divine Chocolate was born. Now a leading Fair Trade brand, Divine has given its farmers a secure source of Fair Trade income. Kuapa Kokoo invests in building schools, sinking wells and clean drinking water for villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over.

You can celebrate the women of Kuapa Kokoo this spring by purchasing Divine Chocolate at San Francisco’s Global Exchange Store! $1.00 off all 3.5 oz bars for the month of March.

For women, the road to equality has been a long (and continuous) struggle. Today marks the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. And while women in the U.S. celebrate Women’s Equality Day, the Fair Trade cocoa cooperative in Ghana, Kuapa Kokoo marked a major milestone in the cooperative’s history by electing their first woman president, Christiana Ohene Agyare.

Ms. Ohene Agyare was elected the cooperative’s president after gaining 1,270 votes out of 1,720 votes, thus making her the first woman president of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU) since the union formed over 16 years ago. As you may or may not know, Kuapa Kokoo is the supplier of cocoa for Divine Chocolate and in addition is also a major shareholder in Divine Chocolate, Inc.

Ms. Agyare herself has an 11 acre cocoa farm and has been the cooperative’s Treasurer for the past four years and serves as the Recorder of her village society.

Kuapa Kokoo has strongly promoted the participation of women at every level of the organization, so the election of a female president of a true testament to the cooperative’s long term commitment to gender equality.

TransFair USA spoke with Erin Gorman, CEO of Divine Chocolate USA,

“Divine Chocolate is thrilled to share the news of this historic election with consumers and businesses in America. Cocoa plays an important role in the lives of women cocoa farmers in West Africa and through Kuapa Kokoo and Divine these same women are afforded the opportunity to have a say and an impact in the global industry. Together with women (and men) who love chocolate in America, we will continue to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farming families.”

The principle that I truly admire about the Fair Trade system is that it promotes the empowerment of women and the strong role that women play in the movement in general. This news is a strong indicator of the strides that the movement makes to ensure that women get that voice to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of those around them.

So, as we reflect on Women’s Equality Day, we think about the women around the world making their own strides for equality. A big thanks to our foremothers and suffragette sisters for keeping up the good fight and giving me and my fellow ladies a chance to speak up. We still have a long ways to go, but this story shows us that we’re slowly getting there.

Saturday Aug 14, 11am-4pm
Global Exchange Fair Trade Store
4018 24th Street @ Noe Street, San Francisco

Bring your kids out to the Global Exchange store in San Francisco to join in the making of a mural that follows “Fair Trade Chocolate’s Journey from Bean to Bar”.

A fun educational neighborhood activity to foster learning about Fair Trade and a time for parents to taste FREE Fair Trade Divine Chocolate!

The cocoa for Fair Trade Divine chocolate is grown in the southern regions of Ghana by a farmers’ co-operative called Kuapa Kokoo. Most Ghanaian cocoa is grown on small family farms, and is usually intercropped with other plants and trees, such as plantains, maize and spices.  Cocoa trees grow to between 12-15 meters high and produce blossoms which when pollinated turn into cocoa pods.  Each pod contains 40 seeds which become cocoa beans.  It takes one tree’s whole crop for the year to make three big bars of Divine.

To harvest the cocoa, the pods must be cut from the trees, split open and the slimy pulp containing the beans scraped out. The bitter cocoa bean is subsequently wrapped in plantain leaves to ferment and then dried under the sun.

The beans are then shipped to Europe where they are roasted, crushed, and ground into a rich cocoa butter.  The cocoa butter is combined in varying proportions with sugar and milk and stirred continuously over several days, then cooled and molded into the delicious chocolate bars we enjoy at home!

Global Exchange Fair Trade San Francisco Store
4018 24th Street (near Noe)
San Francisco CA 94114 (map)

Divine Chocolate Tasting
Global Exchange Fair Trade Store
DATE: Tuesday, May 4th
TIME: 5-7pm

Meet a Fair Trade Chocolate Farmer!
Mr. Aduhene-Tano Kojo is the Recorder and Area president of the Fenaso-Domeabra
Kuapa Kokoo Co-op in the Bekwai Area of Ghana. Mr. Kojo has been a member of
Kuapa Kokoo since 1996 where he harvests about 10 bags of cocoa per year. Learn
how Fair Trade has helped him to send his children to school and has benefited his
whole community.

Taste Divine Chocolate!
At the heart of Divine’s heavenly tasting chocolate there is a unique story. Not only do
the Kuapa Kokoo’s farmers receive a Fair Trade price for their cocoa, but they also
own 45% of the company, therefore they have a direct influence over how the
company is run and share in the profits from the chocolate.

Store Info:

4018 24th Street (near Noe)
San Francisco CA 94114 (map)