Children's author and poet John Dougherty joined Divine Chocolate and Christian Aid to announce the winners of this year's national Divine Poetry Competition after selecting the poems from the hundreds of entries which best captured the theme “When I grow up I want to be a cocoa farmer”.
There are three age groups and this year's winners are:
7-11: Connor Hellings from Cardiff
12-16: Lloyd Hunter (15) from Southampton
Adult: Phil Howard (66) from Preston
The four runners' up poems can be found on the Divine Chocolate website.
As always the topic of chocolate stimulated thousands of budding poets to wax lyrical about chocolate, something they clearly love, and the Fairtrade focus produced more reflective thoughts and ideas. The winners were chosen from nearly 1000 entries, mostly from schools all over UK.
John Dougherty said: “I like poetry, I think it's really important as a culture that we get better at expressing ourselves with words and finding new ways of expressing ourselves. I was delighted to be a judge because, I like chocolate but I also like fairness and I'm a real supporter of any company that promotes Fairtrade. And Divine goes even further than that, they don't just trade fairly with farmers, they're actually co-owned by the farmers who produce the cocoa. Which is an amazing way of flipping our commercial system on its head.
Charlotte Borger, Communications Director at Divine Chocolate adds: “Our theme this year had the desired effect of making people think about where our favourite treat comes from and the hard work that goes into each chocolate bar we enjoy. Unless cocoa farmers are paid a sustainable price in the future, children will be looking at alternative ways of earning a living and chocolate could run out!”
Winners received specialDivine chocolate hampers, book tokens, Christian Aid badges and pens, as well as their individual certificates.