Skip to main content

Cocoa Farmers in Ghana

On my recent trip to Ghana, I visited two cocoa farming communities who are part of Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative set up and owned by cocoa farmers. It provides the cocoa used to make Divine Chocolate, which you may well have enjoyed.

Kuapa Kokoo started in 1993 with 5 farmers but is now a huge enterprise with 87,907 farmers based in 1,241 villages in Ghana.  They appeared well-organised and well-motivated to maintain fair trade principles with a Farmers’ Trust of elected members from all areas, who decide how the fair trade premium should be spent.  Amongst other projects, they have built schools, health clinics and business development centres.  The premium is also used to run a Credit Union, which has helped women to diversify by selling handicrafts, mainly tie-dye and batik fabrics, to supplement their income from cocoa farming.  This had helped one of the women we met in a remote village to pay for her daughter to go to a nurse training college. 

Kuapa Kokoo works hard to prevent child labour.  It has a community taskforce who report any signs of children working and if they are found, then Kuapa Kokoo will not buy cocoa from the farmer involved, until they have been through a re-training procedure and found to change their practice.  

Instead, education for children is promoted, although children may visit the farms in order to learn the skills of cocoa farming.  Esther was an articulate woman working for Kuapa Kokoo, who acted as our guide and interpreter on our visits and she told us that she is the daughter of a cocoa farmer and that fair trade paid for her education.  The message that the cocoa farmers wanted to give us is that fair trade gives them dignity, and by promoting it, we show them that we care about their poverty.

If you would like to support fair trade, then please come along to our next event, a FAIR TRADE BIG BREW on Saturday 28th February at Thackley Methodist Church (Thackley Road, BD10 0RH) from 10am to 12pm, an event held in conjunction with Fairtrade Fortnight (23rd February to 8th March 2015). 

Ruth H, Calverley


Popular posts from this blog

Soupermums! Wilsden Trinity Church

Do you have a young baby? Looking for something to do? If the answer is yes then Soupermums is for you. We're here from 11 until 1 every Monday, Mums (and dads) have a rest and the babies can play. Have a lovely sit down whilst you sip on a brew. Enjoy having someone else make lunch for you! Come along to Wilsden Church, meet the rest of the group. Lovely ladies cuddle the babies, whilst you eat your soup. Chat with the mums, new friends you will make. Swap tips and advice over a slice or two of cake. So what are you waiting for? come on along, For homemade treats, good company and if you're lucky a song. We're looking forward to meeting you, please come take a peek, 11-1 at Wilsden Trinity, we're here every week!

Celine V  (a Soupermum!)
Where can new mums go, to have lunch where it’s warm and safe and you get to eat fresh soup and homemade cakes, while someone holds your baby? Too big an ask? Not at Wilsden Trinity! Every Monday lunch time, young mums come together and turn the gi…

Pancakes and Poems at Thornton

Pancakes and Poems, what a great evening we had on 13th February (Shrove Tuesday), in aid of 2nd Mile Project.

People were invited to come along for tea/supper and enjoy a variety of pancakes both savoury and sweet.

The selection was most tempting with fillings such as chilli. chicken and avocado, mushroom or cheese and onion. The sweet fillings were too many to mention, but my favourite was fresh fruits with ice cream – yum, yum.

Throughout the evening, many people had brought poems to read to everyone. The genre of this was amazing with funny, romantic, knowledgeable and even a little bit naughty.

It was good to be together with laughter and smiles all round. A special thank you to everyone who came and all who helped.

Elaine B, Thornton

Church Building at Thackley!

How would a gingerbread church with icing doors and chocolate finger organ pipes appeal? Junior Church at Thackley had been busy building such an edifice for a couple of weeks, before the part-completed church was creatively used as the basis of an inspired service, put together by worship leader, Gill Dobson.

Using the Lectionary readings and carefully chosen hymns, poems and prayers, Gill gave us a timely reminder that our churches are the people, not the building, and that we are all part of God’s Church – all our churches belong to Him – not us!

We considered how the children were building their gingerbread church on the groundwork of the Junior Church leaders and how in a similar way we were building Thackley Church, in the sense that the church is who we are and what we do. We were asked to think how we might describe Thackley - a busy church? A traditional church? An ageing church? A lively church? A tired church? A caring church?