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Award for fairtrade chocolate company boss

Sophi Tranchell, MD of Gainsford Street-based fairtrade chocolate company Divine Chocolate, has won a Real Business/CBI First Women Award for her achievements as a woman in business.

Sophi Tranchell
Sophi Tranchell (centre) receives her award

At the ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square this week Sophi Tranchell was presented with her award by Theresa May MP and named "First Woman of Retail and Property", chosen from a shortlist of five from businesses as diverse as cosmetics and property investment.

"In building the first farmer-owned Fairtrade company, and as the first business to bring Fairtrade products to the independent sector, Sophi Tranchell is, without question, a groundbreaking retailer, campaigner and businesswoman," said entrepreneur and business writer Margaret Heffernan.

"Her vision for the future: innovative, delicious products in new, exciting territories; and more farmers with whom to work and make a difference."

The judges commented: "Sophi Tranchell has enormous energy and has demonstrated tremendous management ability in dealing with an extraordinarily unusual supply chain, expanding product distribution, developing new products and opening in the US, and at the same time maintaining profitability."

Sophi Tranchell was appointed as the first managing director of Divine Chocolate Ltd (then called The Day Chocolate Company) when it was launched in the UK in 1998.

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