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Celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight

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06 March 2012
Celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight There are many upsides to my job, and sampling Divine chocolate in Parliament last week was definitely one of them! The event was organised by the Cooperative Party to celebrate the International Year of Cooperative and Fairtrade Fortnight, and there was an important story at the heart of my indulging in tasty chocolate.

Divine is a cooperative and the Kuapa Kokoo farmers’ in Ghana receive a Fairtrade price for their cocoa. They also own 45% of the company, meaning they share a profit from the chocolate. The Managing Director of Divine, Lewisham resident Sophi Tranchell, described how this business model means that thousands of ordinary cocoa farmers in Ghana own a high street brand here in the UK. This not only provides the farmers with income, but it does wonders for their welfare, support and empowerment.

We also heard from olive oil growers from Zaytoun, a cooperative in Palestine. They described how Fairtrade has supported hundreds of families in Palestine in giving them a chance of a livelihood. For them, being part of the cooperative and working with UK consumers is helping to build their economy.

Fairtrade cooperatives are an important business model which empowers producers worldwide. I hope the movement continues to grow.

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