Fairtrade’s Divine Chocolate has seen its latest B Corp rating increase from 102 to 127 points in recognition of its impact with farmers, for which it has been recognised three times as a ‘Best for the World’ Honoree, but also for its own governance and labour standards.
Divine became certified as a B Corp in 2016, it is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance, ‘using business as a force for good’.
As a social enterprise, Divine has always championed the power of business to make positive change in the world, said CEO, Sophi Tranchell.
“Being a certified B Corp has given us a useful and effective framework for focusing attention on the sustainability of all areas of our business. It is very rewarding for us all to see improvements across our business being acknowledged in this increase in our rating, which places us amongst the top scoring companies around the world. I would like to thank our dedicated ‘B team’ who put in all the hard work to track and supply all the data needed for the assessments,” she said.
The farmer-owned Fairtrade company is assessed every three years. Since the last assessment Divine has started working with two more cocoa farmer organisations in São Tomé, and in Sierra Leone, and the increased scores recognised the growth in numbers of farmers receiving income and premiums from Divine, and innovative new programmes investing in gender equality, enhanced farming techniques, improved labour standards, and forest-friendly farming.
All B Corps are assessed for social and environmental performance across five key areas of business – governance, community, workers, environment and customers. The ratings in each area are available to the public and motivate companies to keep improving across their whole operations. There are now over 3,200 certified B Corps in 150 industry sectors in 71 countries around the world.
“If certification is indeed motivating other companies as it has us, together we are in a ‘race to the top’ to ensure that business really is a force for good and is addressing the urgent environmental, social and economic issues,” said Tranchell.
She said the company has also become a Living Wage Employer, and introduced a range of benefits for staff including child-care vouchers, a ‘cycle to work’ scheme, travel card loans, holiday increases related to length of employment and a company-wide bonus scheme. It has also introduced a dedicated staff committee to discuss and develop staff conditions and opportunities
The whole Divine team, across UK and USA, are fully engaged with growing the company’s B Corp rating which aims for highest levels of sustainability, said Ruth Harding, Divine’s operations manager. “B-Corp provides a way to assess your business inside out and to pay attention to topics you would not necessarily have considered before. It pinpoints what’s good but also, through continuously evolving, demonstrates what needs to be good in order to protect the planet and the people within it.”