Updated: Aug 19, 2020
My involvement with Fairtrade chocolate and cocoa began by chance in late 2000. One lunchtime I took a break from the Westminster hothouse and found myself in The Body Shop in Victoria Street. As well as buying a few cosmetics I succumbed to an impulse buy. Next to the cash machine was a cleverly sited row of chocolate bars. My hand strayed towards them. I added one to my purchases.
It was such good chocolate that I was prompted to investigate the wrapper and discovered that Divine chocolate was a Fairtrade product which is supported by Christian Aid and Comic Relief as well as The Body Shop and the Department for International Development. It was the product of The Day Chocolate Company, a company based in the United Kingdom and part-owned by a co-operative of Ghanaian cocoa growers Kuapa Kokoo.
One thing led to another and in the summer of 2001, I found myself in Ghana seeking to meet a cocoa farmer. Of course, it takes a whole village to grow the cocoa pods and process the beans and so it was I met the cocoa farmers of Fenaso Domeabra. In the Twi language this means "If you love me, you will come to me". I could repeat five days in my life, this would have to be one of them. In a separate blog I will post another photo and the poem I wrote about that day. A longer version of my encounter with chocolate can be found at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo020124/debtext/20124-23.htm