In the year 2000, The Co-operative Fairtrade Milk Chocolate became the first own-brand product in the UK to be Fairtrade certified.
In 2002, we doubled the size of the Fairtrade chocolate market at the time through converting our entire own-brand block chocolate range to Fairtrade.
We've also gone beyond Fairtrade to support thousands of smallholder cocoa farmers across the three co-operatives who supply us from Ghana, Dominican Republic and Peru.
Kuapa Kokoo co-operative - Ghana
The launch of The Co-operative Fairtrade Milk Chocolate in 2000 signalled the start of a relationship with the 45,000 strong Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana who have been benefiting ever since. Kuapa Kokoo supplies to The Co-operative through Divine Chocolate – a company in which the farmers themselves own a 45% stake.
We also go beyond Fairtrade and pay an annual additional contribution on all the Fairtrade cocoa we source from Kuapa Kokoo through Divine Chocolate’s own ‘producer support and development fund’, which aims to develop the co-operative’s capacity and strength. Additionally we have funded other specific community projects including the provision of a secondary school and ground nut milling equipment to help create additional sources of income.
Conacado co-operative – Dominican Republic
We supported the 10,000-strong Conacado Co-operative in Dominican Republic with a number of community projects, including building a school and improving water access.
Acopagro co-operative - Peru
Our support for Acopagro Co-operative in Peru helped its 300 members with benefits including a reforestation project.