Surviving the Sun in Accra

My Adventures Living & Working Abroad in Ghana

Supporting Women Has Literally Never Been So Sweet

Well, after months of searching, I FINALLY established a contact with a woman who works for Kuapa Kokoo. For those of you who don’t already know, I spent about four months in 2007 researching fair trade coffee and cocoa… and let’s just say I may have developed into a minor obsession with a particular cocoa farmers’ co-op (*Remember Divine Chocolate in xmas stockings?). Being said, that co-operative is Kuapa Kokoo, which coincidentally happens to be located in the very country I’m currently residing in, Ghana!

 

When I first found out I was accepted for an internship in Ghana, I made a pledge to myself to track down a Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farm at all cost and I am happy to say, two weekends ago, I accomplished it.

 

Mabel is a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend… well let’s say for simplicity sake that she is an acquaintance of someone and now a very good friend of mine. I was hesitant after calling her at first because I was not sure that either of us knew what to expect or what we were to do at the cocoa farm, but with a leap of faith and Collin and Theresa in tow, I caught a bus heading north to Kumasi.

 

In typical Ghanaian fashion, our 11am meeting turned out to be closer to 1pm, but Mabel and her driver picked us up at our hotel and we drove to the village of Bipoa. After a quick history of cocoa farming in Ghana and the formation of Kuapa Kokoo in 1993, we reached the town and met with the local women’s society. Driving up the main drag, the driver honked his horn in three quick blurts, representing the motto ‘Pa, Pa, Paa’ meaning the best of the best of the best. To me, this seemed legitimately as cool as the bat symbol and actually worked to call Kuapa Kokoo members from their homes.

 

The women’s society all came out to greet us (regardless of our very short notice) and Mabel translated their greetings and explanations about how Kuapa Kokoo has improved their lives. Before we headed to a local cocoa patch, the women all sang and clapped for us. Not only were we able to see the growing process of cocoa that afternoon, but we also fortunate enough to experience first hand the benefits of fair trade social initiatives. The women were so empowered and felt such success through Kuapa Kokoo that it would be hard to ever second guess the achievements of these fair trade farming communities.

 

Although we only had a short while to visit with the farmers in Bipoa, I was an experience I would never give up and was well worth the two day trip. Kuapa Kokoo has half ownership of the Day Chocolate Company, makers of Divine Chocolate, which is produced with Ghanaian cocoa from these very farmers. Supporting women has literally never been so sweet 🙂

 

XOXO

Kelsey

 

*Side Note: In local dialect, Twi, Kuapa Kokoo means ‘Good Cocoa Farmer’

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1 Comment»

  Sherwin wrote @

Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m glad all your efforts to find them have paid off.


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