Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Story of My Chocolate bar...

Whilst shopping at an Oxfam bookstore yesterday as well as picking up some interesting books(see pic below) I also treated myself to a chocolate bar:) not only was it scrumptious but it was also fairtrade. This according to the fairtrade logo it 'Guarantees a better deal for Third World Producers'.

My Divine milk chocolate has the tag line 'Heavenly Chocolate with a Heart'. I wanted to find out if it lived up to its name, it certainly passed the taste test.

I started reading other information on the label and found out that it was produced in Germany using Ghanaian cocoa. Under the ingredients listed the sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, vanilla were all certified to international Fairtrade standards. These ingredients make up 76% of the product, i can only assume the other 24% of ingredients, dried cream,whole milk powder, emulsifier: soya lecithin (which was stated as non GM) are not. Curiously over 4/5ths of the remaining 24% of non-organic ingredients are dairy produce(derived from milk). Why are these ingredients not certified Fairtrade?

The interior of the wrapper states that the design on the outer label are 'traditional West African Adinkra symbols, often used on hand-made crafts, and each with its own special meaning'.

This symbol (below) which is found on the outer wrapper and also explained on the inner is 'Funtunfunefudenkyemfunefu' which means 'Democracy and Unity in Diversity'.

The inner wrapper also gives a brief history of the cocoa farmers of Equatorial Guinea as well as the problems they face and how and for what reasons Divine chocolate was created with investments from The Body Shop and Twin Trading and the support of Christain Aid and Comic Relief.

'The success of Devine means that farmers have a secure source of Fairtrade income, which continues to grow as more and more chocolate lovers choose it as their treat. As Kupa Kokoo also owns a significant percentage of the company, they can share in the profits too. Members decide how the money is invested in their communities and each year more villages can sink their own drinking water wells, build schools, or benefit from health care schemes. Ownership of devine and the Fairtrade deal has also enabled farmers to plan for their future, send their children to school, learn new skills, and improve their farms. The exciting news in 2006 was that the Body Shop decided to donate all their shares in Devine to Kupa Kokoo - so now those benefits of ownership are even greater'.

Good on the Body Shop:)

I think that it is so nice to actually get the story behind where something has come from for once. We are forever consuming without the knowledge of where the items are made, who are making them, the history behind them or how they get to us.

Other related sites Dubble and Twin.

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