Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Divine Chocolate

By Carly Price, February 22, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carly Price

Divine ChocolateWe love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

What could make chocolate taste even more divine? Knowing that you’re making a difference in the world with every bite.

Divine Chocolate was established in the late 1990s by a forward-looking group of cocoa farmers in Africa.

"We were the first fair trade cocoa farmers in Ghana to create a company of our very own,” says Fatima Ali, a member of the Kuapa Kokoo farming cooperative, which owns and operates Divine.

The farmers empowered themselves to set a fair price for their product, so they could enjoy more stability and plan for their families’ futures. For most members, it was also the first time they had owned something besides their farms.

“Divine wasn’t one person’s brainchild. It grew out of the farmers’ own organization,” explains Divine CEO Erin Gorman. “The company’s whole reason for existence is to enable farmers to realize more of the value of their work. Historically farmers have usually been at the lowest point of the supply chain. At Divine, they are at the highest point.”

Divine Chocolate

All Divine products are certified by Fairtrade International, and the wrapper on each bar is decorated with Adinkras, traditional West African symbols that represent values Divine holds dear, including democracy, cooperation, learning from the past and adaptability.

Because the farmers own Divine, they enjoy a taste of sweet success from every chocolate sale. The Kuapa Kokoo Farmers’ Trust receives a premium for every tonne of cocoa. Those funds have been used for community development projects chosen at the village level, including schools, water wells, vision screenings, women’s clinics, camps for children and many other projects.

Divine chocolate

A portion of revenue also goes to the Kuapa Kokoo Producer Support and Development Fund, a democratic organization with 60,000 members.

“We put power, knowledge and profits in the hands of cocoa farmers so they can be the agents of change in their own lives,” Erin says. “I think of Divine as being a delicious and cheeky challenge to the chocolate industry to do better. We developed a fair trade chocolate company owned and controlled by small cocoa farmers in West Africa. We’ve already done things people said were impossible.”

Which Divine chocolate bar is your favorite?





Ameer Ahmad says ...
Wow! This is an incredible story. I love reading about good things and great people that make a difference in people lives, especially the children. I am a frequent shopper at Whole Foods and I will definitely get some Divine chocolate on my next visit and in the future.
02/24/2013 3:15:09 PM CST
Teri Smyth says ...
I LOVE Divine Chocolate and I'm a chocolate snob. I make truffles and confections frequently so I know good quality chocolate. I was first introduced to this chocolate at my son's college St. Mary's where they were selling fair trade products from Africa. It is nice to know you are helping others while indulging in a favorite treat. www.letsmakemudpies.blogspot.com
02/25/2013 12:33:13 PM CST
Rosie says ...
I've never tried -but now after reading this story I can't wait!!!
02/25/2013 1:42:40 PM CST
Paul Wright says ...
I would like to know more.
02/27/2013 8:01:47 PM CST
Mary says ...
I would love the cocoa powder. It's the only product that doesn't have an allergen of mine. Looks like a great company though.
02/27/2013 11:37:37 PM CST
Bunny Copley says ...
I love this story, so very inspiring. I have never tried Divine Chocolate but it will definitely be on my next shopping list.
02/28/2013 8:01:05 AM CST
Phyllis Miles says ...
I loved reading about this beautiful story!And every human being needs to know that he or she is placed upon the planet,with a divine life purpose,including what one does for a living! I have not tried Divine Chocolate yet,but I will look for it when I shop at Whole Foods next time!
02/28/2013 9:14:59 AM CST
Abdul says ...
Do you have sugar free chocolates ?
03/13/2013 7:11:05 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ABDUL - I was unable to find a chocolate on the Divine site that is listed as sugar-free. You can look through their products at http://www.divinechocolateusa.com/default.aspx. Check with your local store if you are looking for a sugar-free option as opposed to this particular brand.
03/14/2013 4:07:09 PM CDT
CM says ...
Best chocolate ever!!
02/22/2015 12:07:12 AM CST