For centuries the women of Ghana have used cocoa butter on their skin in the dry African heat. Our Community Trade cocoa butter comes from cocoa beans harvested by the experts of Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative. Today, it represents over 50,000 small-scale farmers, around a third of whom are women. The co-operative guarantees farmers a minimum price for their cocoa beans. And for every tonne we buy, we also pay a premium which goes towards community projects like schools and wells.
Ghana is famous for the quality of its cocoa beans. But the country’s two million cocoa farmers are among its poorest people. Literacy rates are low, and this makes it hard for farmers to know if they’re getting a fair deal. Through its fair and transparent buying process, Kuapa Kokoo is changing this.
The pods are harvested by hand and individually checked for quality and purity, then cut open to reveal about forty beans covered in white pulp. These are allowed to ferment under a banana leaf before being dried in the sun on raised mats. Once dried, the beans are rigorously checked to ensure the highest standards of flavour, fat content and quality. Only the finest beans are ground and pressed into Community Trade smooth-on-the skin cocoa butter.
Kuapa Kokoo allows women to play a central part in the business. Mary Antwi, a cocoa farmer, says: "Before I joined Kuapa Kokoo I didn’t have a voice. Now I am treasurer of my society and I can speak."
A FAIR DEAL
What’s different about Kuapa Kokoo? Mohamed, a farmer from the Bayerebon village, explains: "Kuapa Kokoo is democratic and transparent,” he says. “It pays us in cash for the beans when we bring them."
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The botanical name of the cocoa tree is Theobroma, from the Greek meaning 'food of the gods'.