The company has been busy for the past few months: launching new high cocoa products, baking chocolate, seasonal items, and receiving honor from B Corporations for its sustainability efforts, Divine CEO Sophie Tranchell told ConfectioneryNews.
Divine has rolled out a range of new packaging bearing the “owned by cocoa farmers” seal at the recent ISM in Cologne, Germany. The company said it sources Fairtrade ingredients, and the Ghana-based cocoa cooperative Kuapa Kokoo, which has over 85,000 participating farmers, owns 44% of its business.
The UK-headquartered chocolate maker also introduced a line of high cocoa baking chocolate, including 55% semi-sweet, 70% bittersweet, and 100% unsweetened.
Divine said the trend for higher cocoa chocolate will deliver more benefits to farmers, as Kuapa Kokoo will receive “more income from the sale of cocoa and the Fairtrade premium, as well as the largest share of the profits.”
Additionally, Divine also highlighted two higher cocoa chocolate bars at the trade show: a 45% smooth milk bar, as it said “higher cocoa isn’t just for dark chocolate,” and a new dark chocolate bar with smooth hazelnut praline, suitable for vegans.
As for the upcoming Easter, Divine will relaunch its milk chocolate egg that contains caramelized salted popcorn. The idea hatched when Tranchell happened to sit next to the co-founder of British gourmet popcorn brand Joe & Seph’s, Adam Sopher, on a plane to London in 2016.
From farmers to the environment
Divine was recently named for being one of the world’s B Corporations “creating the most positive community impact,” it said.
The company was certified as a B Corp a year ago alongside Tony’s Chocolonely.
“We applied for B Corp certification because we believe there is a pressing need for companies to be transparent and comparable in how they do business,” Tranchell said.
She added all certified B Corps are “independently assessed [by B Lab, a nonprofit that certifies companies as B Corps] to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, covering governance, workers, community, and environment.”
"In terms of our approach to the environment, we are going to formalize our policies,” Tranchell told ConfectioneryNews. “We have already moved our power supply to renewable energy and made a commitment on our packaging to use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified paper and cardboard.”
According to Divine’s spokesperson Charlotte Borger, both the company’s office and main factory, managed by a fifth generation family-run business based in Germany, have converted to renewable energy. Divine, however, has “no direct partnerships with wind farms and solar energy” companies, she said.
“The conversion is not so much about improving chocolate production, more about wanting to be a better business,” Borger said.