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Chocolate is a favourite with
many people, but the UK has one of the highest consumption levels of
chocolate in the world. It is enjoyed as a product in its own right
as well as being used in a wide range of others including cakes, biscuits
But how and where is chocolate
produced so that we are able to enjoy it?
Who does the work involved to
bring chocolate bars to our shop shelves?
Do they benefit as much from producing chocolate as people do from eating
This case study explores the issues
around chocolate from the consumer's perspective and from the producer's
perspective. It does this by focusing on The Day Chocolate Company,
its fair trade chocolate products and unique business structure. Fair
trade systems give a better deal to producers, so it is not just the
consumers who benefit.
The Day Chocolate Company was set
up to produce a new kind of chocolate bar, made from premium quality cocoa
beans grown in Ghana and processed into chocolate in Europe. Cocoa has
been grown in Ghana since the mid-nineteenth century and is vital to the
Ghanaian economy. Until the mid-1970's Ghana was the largest cocoa bean
producer in the world, producing 30 to 40% of the total cocoa bean market.
When the world market price for cocoa fell dramatically in the 1970's,
the Ghanaian economy went into crisis.
combat the threat of losing their livelihoods, a group of cocoa farmers
formed a co-operative that would collect and sell its own cocoa for
their member farmers' own benefit.
This co-operative was called Kuapa
Kokoo, which means 'good cocoa growers' and its motto is 'pa pa paa'
meaning 'the best of the best'. Kuapa Kokoo buy and sell their cocoa
beans to the Government Cocoa Buying Board (Cocobod).
They are then traded on the global
market and made into chocolate and chocolate-based products. This
ensures the best price for the farmers, and the result of this greater
efficiency is higher profits that help to improve living standards for
In 1998, Kuapa Kokoo entered
a partnership with Twin Trading (already involved in fair trade coffee
called cafédirect) and The Body Shop, supported by Christian
Aid and Comic Relief to set up The Day Chocolate Company.
All The Day Chocolate Company's products are licensed by the Fairtrade
Foundation, which is the independent UK regulator of fair trade. Fair
trade is governed internationally by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation
which sets recognized price and development criteria for products applying
to use the fair trade mark. Uniquely Kuapa Kokoo also own a stake in
The Day Chocolate Company and this means that they play an active role
in decisions about how their products are produced and sold and receive
a share of any company profits.
Divine was the first fair trade
chocolate bar to be aimed at the UK mass market, ie. aimed not just
at those people interested in fair trade products, but anyone wanting
to buy delicious chocolate! Divine milk chocolate is one of a range
of products now available from The Day Chocolate Company. They have
built on the success of Divine by bringing out: Dubble milk chocolate
crispy crunch bars, Darkly Divine plain chocolate, Divine Mini Eggs,
a Divine Advent Calendar and a Crispy White Chocolate bar & milk chocolate
45g bar both branded jointly with the Co-op.
Make the link to discover
some interesting historical facts about chocolate.
the design and development of
It was important to ensure that
Divine chocolate would compare well with existing leading brands of
chocolate, appealing to British chocolate tastes and competing in the
The Day Chocolate Company looked
at a wide range of recipes before selecting the one that became Divine
Chocolate. Several manufacturers were asked to make up trial samples
of a number of recipes, which were then tasted and assessed by panels
The key specification points for
Divine chocolate were:
- a mainstream product - widely
acceptable and available
- use of good quality ingredients
- fun and enjoyable in its own
- good chocolately flavour
- favourable comparisons with
regular chocolate bars
- produced at a realistic and
Divine chocolate bar is made from sugar, cocoa butter, dried cream,
whole milk powder, cocoa mass, emulsifier: soya lecithin and vanilla.
The final recipe chosen has a higher cocoa solids content than regular
milk chocolate. Colour and design of the wrapper were also carefully
considered to ensure that the product would be noticeable and attractive
to the consumer.
Recently, following consumer
feedback, The Day Chocolate Company has re-branded and re-packaged Divine
chocolate, moving from the original 150g horizontal purple packaging
to a 100g vertical gold wrapper.
By 'going for gold' the company
aims to stand out more clearly from the shelf and to match the packaging
style of Darkly Divine to develop a coherent Divine Fairtrade range.
Processing the cocoa beans (primary
Cocoa beans are the product
of the Cacao tree, a tropical plant that thrives only in hot,
rainy climates of 20 degrees C or more. The Cacao tree takes 4
to 5 years to produce its first crop and can reach up to 15 metres
The cocoa beans for The
Day Chocolate Company's chocolate products are grown in the Southern
regions of Ghana, usually on small plots of land. For protection
and shade cocoa beans are usually grown amongst other plants and
trees such as plantains (part of the banana family), maize and
The cocoa pods are chopped
off the tree trunk manually, using a cutlass and split open. The
pods look like yellow rugby balls and contain damp white cocoa
beans that are scraped out carefully so as not to damage them.
When ripe, each pod contains 30-40 seeds that grow in a milky,
sticky, sweet tasting pulp.
The beans are wrapped in
large green plantain leaves to form envelopes. They are piled
in heaps to ferment in the sun for 5-8 days. The fermentation
is a reaction between yeast and the sticky pulp. Once the yeast
has done its work the result is a sweeter, more chocolatey flavour.
beans are spread on a bamboo table in the sun to dry out, occasionally
being turned to make sure that they dry evenly and that they do
not stick together. These are left for 5-12 days, during which time
the moisture content is reduced.
beans are hand sorted, graded and packed into jute bags weighing
62.54 kg. These are stored in ventilated warehouses prior to being
transported for sale.
Kuapa Kokoo farmers carry out all the processes above. Each farmer
harvests and ferments his or her own beans and the drying is done
on large tables shared by the whole village. Each village has a
local recorder responsible for collecting and weighing the dried
beans and checking the quality, arranging for the collection, transport
and payments to the farmers.
are no additional charges to the farmers for the processing of raw
beans, but additional trade tariffs and investment in machinery
and equipment would have to be made by Kuapa Kokoo, if they were
to process the beans. So, at present, the processing for Divine
chocolate is carried out in Holland.
Producing the chocolate (secondary
The beans must be sorted, cleaned
and roasted before they are made into chocolate. They are roasted at
between 120 and 149 degrees C. Roasting develops the colour and is the
second stage in the development of the chocolate flavour that began
during the fermentation on the farms.
After roasting, the beans are
crushed and broken into smaller pieces to release in internal 'nib'
from the shells. They are then blown through an air tunnel. This winnowing
process separates the shell fragments from the cocoa nibs.
nibs are ground into a thick brown liquid called cocoa mass. This is
made up of rich cocoa butter (55-60%) with fine cocoa particles suspended
cocoa mass is heavily pressed until the cocoa butter is squeezed out
and then separated from the cocoa powder.
The cocoa powder is used in chocolate drinks, confectionery and cooking.
manufacturing process is slightly different depending on the type of
- for milk chocolate, cocoa butter
and cocoa mass are combined in varying proportions and sugarand full
cream milk are added
- plain chocolate uses the same
process but is a mixture of cocoa mass, sugar and cocoa butter without
- white chocolate is made with
cocoa butter, milk and sugar and does not contain cocoa powder
- the resulting mixture is dried
to form a crumb which is ground with more cocoa butter, then beaten
in a process called conching, which gives the finished chocolate its
smooth, silky texture
Tempering is a carefully controlled
heating process where the chocolate is slowly heated, then slowly cooled,
allowing the cocoa butter molecules to solidify in an orderly fashion,
then melted again. Without tempering, large crystals would form and
the chocolate would have a gritty texture and a dull appearance or the
cocoa butter separates out (as cream separates from milk).
The resulting mixture is called
'couverture' and forms the basis of most finished chocolate products.
It can be moulded into chocolate bars or poured over individual confectionery
items to coat or enrobe them.
Flavouring or ingredients that
add texture, such as nuts, may be added. Chocolate made for the English
market often has vegetable fat added, but Divine
chocolate only uses cocoa butter, which gives a smooth and luxurious
mouth-feel. The lecithin and vanilla used are not synthetic.
Under European Union law it is
allowable to add 5% vegetable fat of tropical original to chocolate
other than cocoa butter and still call it chocolate. Any more than 5%
and chocolate must be labelled as 'Family Milk Chocolate'.
liquid chocolate is cast into moulds and set into shapes or bars.
the chocolate is ready, it is wrapped, packed, transported to large
handling warehouses and finally distributed to shops for consumers
Very close control is maintained
in the factory throughout the production of the chocolate bar from cocoa
beans. Precision instruments regulate temperature, stabilise the moisture
content of the air, and control the time intervals of manufacturing
operations needed to give quality results.
The equipment in a factory is
heavy, large and complex, representing an investment of millions of
pounds. Additional machines are required for shaping and packaging the
chocolate. Some of the shaping machines perform rapidly, producing hundreds
of bars or products per minute. Other machines wrap and package at speeds
that human hands would find impossible.
highly mechanised nature of the chocolate-making process contributes
to the industry's strict hygiene and sanitation standards. Quality tests
are carried out to closely monitor and check on these standards and
show whether the process is being carried out within the pre-set product
and production limits. These tests cover viscosity, cocoa butter content,
acidity, quality of product, purity and taste.
Chocolate may be used in many
ways - either eaten as a bar, or used in cooking and baking, egs. as
an ingredients in cakes and desserts, or to decorate them. Any chocolate
with a high cocoa solid content can be tempered at home using a similar
process to that used in industry. Chocolate, like Divine, that has no
added vegetable fat is particularly good for tempering.
To temper chocolate:
- break up the chocolate into
- either melt it in a heat resistant
bowl over a pan of hot water or in the microwave (on medium setting
for 2-3 minutes, checking every 20 seconds and stopping when there
are still a few lumps of chocolate left as they will continue to melt)
- take the chocolate off the
heat and stir every few minutes from the outside inwards until it
starts to thicken as it cools
- once it is too thick to work
with, re-melt it either in the bowl or in 10 second bursts in the
- use it to make novelty chocolates
from ready made moulds, make your own moulds in a vacuum former, or
use any smooth object such as the back of a spoon, rolling pin covered
with greaseproof paper, plastic cartons and lids or the inside of
- to make decorations apply thin
layers of chocolate using a paintbrush or pastry brush, allowing each
layer to set before applying the next (2-5 minutes per layer)
- lacy decorations can be made
by drizzling or piping melted chocolate
- different coloured chocolate
can be used to create contrasting effects, eg. marbled Easter eggs
Divine Chocolate was launched it has developed a reasonably high profile
by marketing itself to a number of national outlets, including Sainsburys,
Iceland, Co-op, Somerfield, Asda and Morrisons. The Body Shop, Christian
Aid and Comic Relief have also promoted the chocolate bar through their
retail outlets & supporter bases.
Consumers are increasingly interested
in 'ethical trading' of products and services whose production minimises
harm to people and the environment.
These products are often more
expensive because although they are mass manufactured the scale of production
is still smaller with higher costs. They tend to be aimed at an 'exclusive'
or a niche market.
Divine chocolate is different because
it is aimed at the mass market and, as such, needs to compete with other
mainstream chococlate. That is why Divine was the first ever fairtrade
product to be advertised on television in a series of adverts on Channel
4 starring Ben Elton encouraging consumers to buy their bars at The
Body Shop & Iceland.
The Day Chocolate Company aims
to inform and educate the general public about their products and the
issues around fair trade. They do this through press and media features,
consumer literature, promotional offers, competitions, events and campaigns
such as 'Divine Towns' and their web sites. The company also provides
post cards so that consumers can send them to the manager of their local
supermarket asking them to 'Stock the Choc' if they do not already do
so. In this way consumers are able to use their power to encourage shops
to stock their preferred products.
well as factual information required under labelling law, the packaging
of Divine Chocolate communicates its fairtrade message with clear display
of logos, egs. the Fairtrade Mark and Comic Relief & Christian Aid logos,
as well as this message:
"Every time you take a
bite from this Divine bar the Kuapa Kokoo growers in Ghana share in
your enjoyment. The cocoa growers are a partner in this venture, so
a fair share of the proceeds goes to their community."
Divine is promoted as "heavenly
milk chocolate with a heart". Inside the wrapper of each 45g Divine,
there is a brief account of the Divine fairtrade chocolate story.
back to top
issues and values
commodities such as cocoa, coffee, tea, sugar, honey and bananas often
provide the main livelihood for small scale producers in developing
countries. The prices for these crops are set on the world markets.
When the world market prices crash, it can cost a farmer more to produce
the crop than they can sell it for.
Because world market prices can
fluctuate wildly it makes it very difficult for farmers to plan effectively
for the future. Fair trade aims to build consistent and respectful trading
relationships between consumers in the North and producers in developing
This means that:
- producers receive a guaranteed
price for their goods and long term trading contracts
- producers operate under guaranteed
minimum health and safety conditions
- producers and their environment
are not exploited
- education and training opportunities
are provided for producers, including women and children
Chocolate is one example of a growing number of Fairtrade products available
in the UK. The Fairtrade Mark is a guarantee for the consumer that purchasing
the product supports the producers and their communities.
The Day Chocolate Company is licensed
by the Fairtrade Foundation and operates under these guidelines.
The farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo
co-operative own one third of the shares in their company. They participate
in the running of the company with 2 Board Members sitting on the Day
Board and help make decisions about how all The Day Chocolate Company's
products are produced and sold. They also fairly share the profits.
The price of the average chocolate
bar has increased by 60% in recent years, but the price paid on the
world market for cocoa beans has almost halved. Although there are hundreds
of chocolate brands available in the UK, three companies dominate the
global chocolate market place.These are Nestle-Rowntree, Mars and Cadbury-Schweppes.
Such large companies can afford to spend up to 10% of their profit margins
(hundreds of thousands of pounds) to retain their brand's market position.
Introducing a new product into
such a competitive market is a risk that Day Chocolate was prepared
to take, since even a small increase in fair trade chocolate sales means
real benefits for cocoa farmers. This is because the value of the chocolate
market is so high.
Other village societies are keen
to join in on Kuapa Kokoo's success, so Twin Trading are helping Kuapa
Kokoo to set up a sustainable expansion programme that will benefit
UK chocolate consumption
- in the UK, each person eats
on average about 200 bars of chocolate
- we spent around £3.75 billion
on chocolate in 2000, which is around 70% of the total UK confectionery
market (chocolate and sweets)
- chocolate consumption in the
UK is steadily growing each year
- more than 90% of the UK population
bought confectionery in 2000, with each buyer spending an average
of 30 pence a day
- purchase levels for confectionery
are significantly higher than any other 'impulse' buying category
- confectionery buyers spent
an average of £77 each on chocolate and sweets in 2000
- almost two-thirds of all confectionery
is purchased by women, but they eat just over a half of what they
- men purchase just under a third
of all confectionery and generally eat the majority of what they buy
- children eat 38% of all confectionery,
but buy only 20% of what they eat themselves
- the UK is second only to Switzerland
in consumption, with each person in the UK consuming an average 13.7kg
of confectionery a year
(Source: UK Confectionery Review
of 2000, Cadbury Trebor Bassett - http://www.cadbury.co.uk/fr_today.asp)
Chocolate and nutrition
- chocolate contains over 300
chemicals and it is not known how all of these affect humans, but
research suggests chocolate may have health benefits
- dark chocolate is higher in
cocoa than milk chocolate and helps to increase levels of HDL, a type
of cholesterol that helps prevent fat clogging up arteries
- chocolate contains small amounts
of stimulants such as caffeine and this has a mild effect on alertness
- another mild stimulant present
in chocolate is theobromine, which relaxes the smooth muscles in the
linings of the lung.
use of the case study - things to think about and do
Using this case study for the following tasks
will help to develop your understanding about:
chocolate is produced from cocoa beans
practices - primary and secondary processing
product development - launching a fair trade chocolate
issues - fair trade issues
- Visit a shop that sells Divine
chocolate, egs. Sainsburys, Iceland, Co-op, Somerfield, Asda, Waitrose,
Morrisons. Find out the cost of Divine, Darkly Divine or Dubble per
100g compared to three other similar chocolate bars. Which are the
cheapest and the most expensive? What reasons can you give for this?
- Using a bar/bars of Divine
chocolate, plus one other similar standard chocolate bar, organise
and carry out a taste test for creaminess, intensity of chocolate
flavour, smooothness (mouthfeel) and hardness (bite). Find five people
to taste your samples. Develop a way of showing your results clearly,
eg. using a spreadsheet on a computer to create graphs and charts.
What conclusions can you draw?
- Carry out a survey to find
out about people's awareness of Fairtrade Trade. Do they know and
understand what Fairtrade is? Do they recognise the Fairtrade Mark?(picture)?
Would they consider buying a fair trade product instead of their regular
purchase of chocolate? If not, what would persuade them to do so?
- Have a go at tempering chocolate
and making some chocolate novelty shapes using moulds or enrobing/coating
such foods as nuts or dried fruits.
- Experiment with recipes for
desserts or cakes that use chocolate for decoration, egs. flakes or
- At present, Divine chocolate
is available in the chocolate bar, mini egg, Advent calendar & christmas
tree decoration form. Develop a chocolate-based product that you think
would be popular with consumers. Give the ingredients (including quantities)
and methods (shown in flow chart form) that you would use.
- Look at the wrapper from a
bar of chocolate. What do you notice about it? What is it made from?
Using CAD, design and produce the packaging for a new 'flavoured'
version of Divine chocolate. What information you would need to supply
to consumers on the packaging? What materials would you select for
the packaging if you were aiming to produce a sustainable wrapping?
- Visit www.divinechocolate.com,
www.dubble.co.uk and collect
a number of interesting facts about fair trade chocolate. Discuss
what you have found out with a partner and see if you can surprise
and educate one another. You could organise an event at your school
to promote what you have learnt about fairtrade to other people -
contact The Day Chocolate Company to let them know what you are planning:
- Reports have suggested that
chocolate may contain unacceptable levels of a pesticide called lindane.
Investigate these claims and produce a set of bullet points summarizing
what you find out. (www.defra.gov.uk,
www.foe.org.uk have information
- Think about the nutritional
value of chocolate. Some say that chocolate is unhealthy, whilst others
say that it is fine in moderation as part of a balanced diet. What
are your views and why?
- Who 'stocks the choc' in your
local area? Find out where Divine chocolate is sold. Where else would
you like to see it being sold? You can play your part by sending a
'Stock the Choc' postcard to shops, asking them to stock Divine -
see details on www.divinechocolate.com
- send an email to email@example.com to let The Day Chocolate
Company know who you have contacted.
Make it: Food Technology', Stanley Thornes, 1997, p 142-143
Challenges: Red Book', RCA, Hodder & Stoughton, 1997, p 6-11
'Food Technology to GCSE', Anita Tull, Oxford University Press,
1998, p 50-51, p 100
'Food Technology Foundation Course', Collins, Inglis, Plews &
Chapman, p36-45, p 64-69
'The Science & Technology of Food', RK Proudlove, Forbes,
1994, p 178-183
'PaPaPaa Fairtrade Education Pack' - order online from www.dubble.co.uk
'The Chocolate Game' Fair
Trade edition - www.oxfam.org.uk
The Day Chocolate Company & Comic Relief.
Photo credits: Brian Moody and Kim Naylor
All rights reserved