“When I used to sell my cocoa to other companies — as a woman — I was cheated most of the time because I didn’t know how much a bag of cocoa weighed,” Afia confides. She’s a 58-year-old mother-of-six and a cocoa farmer who works her family plot on a tropical hillside in Ghana’s Ashanti region.
I met Afia in March while doing interviews and a photo shoot for Oxfam Australia of a farmer community that supplies organic cocoa for Oxfam’s ‘Fair’ range of chocolate here in Australia. I spent four amazing days getting to know the small village of Amankwatia, who’ve now joined Kuapa Kokoo, a farmer-owned cocoa cooperative that works to directly benefit farmers.
Under Kuapa Kokoo, elected “recorders” are responsible for making sure produce is weighed fairly and accurately. “I can say that my life has really improved a lot,” Afia says since joining Kuapa Kokoo. ”Now there is no cheating.”
Read about her story in this humble article just published in the September issue of Oxfam News and maybe you’ll keep her village in mind next time you’re in the chocolate aisle.