Sophi Tranchell MBE is Group Chief Executive Officer of Divine Chocolate, the Fairtrade company co-owned by cocoa farmers. For 19 years she has led the company to achieve international success, delivering on its mission to both empower farmers, and chocolate lovers. She has always campaigned energetically for better terms of trade for small-scale producers and championed more equitable and sustainable business models.
- Contact via
- For-profit Social Enterprise
- Sustainable Development; Agriculture, Food and Beverage; Retail, Consumer Goods and Lifestyle
- United Kingdom
- Areas of Impact
- North America, Africa, Europe, United Kingdom, USA, Ghana
Divine Chocolate was originally established in the UK in 1998 as a limited share company co-owned by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers' cooperative in Ghana. Its key innovation lies in this ownership structure and in the creation of a completely sustainable and traceable supply chain.
From the outset, Divine was set up to deliver not only a higher income to farmers but also, through the cooperative’s ownership shares, the profits and power that have traditionally been denied to farmers at the start of the supply chain. Some 35% of Kuapa Kokoo's more than 80,000 members are women, and the cooperative collectively produces around 6% of Ghana's cocoa harvest. Divine pays the world price for the cocoa, with an additional $200 per tonne which is invested by the farmers in their own community development and distributed as individual bonuses. In addition, 2% of Divine's annual turnover is allocated to producer support and development; Kuapa Kokoo farmers receive 44% of distributed profits.
Divine is planning to source cocoa from other fair trade farmer groups in Africa and already sources other fair trade ingredients, such as mangos and sugar, from Malawi, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burkina Faso and Madagascar. Beyond its inclusive innovations on the supply side, Divine is widely known for its innovations on the marketing and distribution side. Divine has developed a strong and engaged following among consumers and built partnerships with major retailers, including Waitrose, The Co-operative and Starbucks, selling more than 70 different products in 12 countries.