A SELF-confessed teenage chocolate addict has beaten hundreds of competitors to claim first prize in a national poetry competition by writing verse about her favourite sweet treat.
Talented Sara Weston is just 13 but wowed judges of the Divine Poetry Competition’s 12 to 16 years category – one of three – with her lyrical account of the journey from cocoa bean to finished product on supermarket shelves.
The St Edmund’s Catholic School was among 2,709 people who entered the hotly-contested ‘From Bean to Bar’ challenge sponsored by Christian Aid and fair trade company Divine Chocolate.
Sara said: ‘It feels pretty good to win, I honestly didn’t expect to do so well.
‘The poem didn’t take me long to write but in school we had studied the production of chocolate in some detail so I knew lots about the subject.
‘I was inspired in particular by a series of pictures we studied in one lesson which showed every stage of production, from the cocoa bean to the end product.
‘In particular I was struck by the fact that most people who make the chocolate don’t get to see it when it is ready to sell to the consumer.
‘Also, for the less ethical chocolate producers, farmers can get exploited – so from that perspective it’s really important to know where your chocolate is coming from so that you can support fair practices.’
She added: ‘I’m a big chocolate fan – I can’t really put into words how much I enjoy eating it.
‘I eat chocolate every day but being involved in this poetry competition has definitely given me a different perspective on it.
‘Since I’ve been researching the production of chocolate, most of the chocolate I buy is fair trade.’
Sara’s prize included £30 in book tokens and a gift box of Divine Chocolate.
Lauren Jones, Sara’s English teacher, said: ‘Sara’s poem is incredibly sophisticated – she’s a really gifted writer and I’ve had the pleasure of teaching her for the last three years.
‘Her poem shows a really good grasp of imagery and how to evoke the different states of chocolate.
‘I’m so proud of her and so pleased that she has been recognised for this.’