The International Cocoa Council is the highest decision-making body of the ICCO and is composed of all the contracting parties to the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010. It holds two regular sessions per year, and special sessions as required. Council sessions are attended by delegations of all cocoa producing and cocoa consuming Member countries. Members of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy (see below) participate as observers, as do delegations from non-Member countries, cocoa sector associations and international organizations.
The main function of the Council is to determine the strategy of the Organization in addition to supervising its financial policies and reviewing and approving its proposed work programme and budget for each cocoa year. It is the body to which the different committees and working groups report.
Monsieur Pierre Etoa Abena (Cameroon) is the spokesman for producing countries, while Mr. Rüdiger Ohst (Germany) is the spokesman for consuming countries.
The Economics Committee was established to review cocoa statistics and statistical analyses of cocoa production; examine analyses of market trends and other factors, with particular regard to cocoa supply and demand; analyse information on market access for cocoa and cocoa products in producing and consuming countries; examine and recommend to the Council projects for funding by the Common Fund for Commodities and other donor agencies; address issues regarding the economic dimension of sustainable development in the cocoa economy; review the draft annual work programme of the Organization in cooperation with the Administration and Finance Committee as appropriate; prepare international cocoa conferences and seminars at the request of the Council; and deal with any other matters as approved by the Council.
Open to all Members of the Organization, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Economics Committee are elected from among Members for a period of two years. The posts of Chairman and Vice-Chairman alternate between exporting and importing Members.
The Administration and Finance Committee supervises, on the basis of the budget presented by the Executive Director, the preparation of the draft administrative budget to be submitted to Council; and carries out any other administrative and financial tasks which the Council assigns to it, including the monitoring of income and expenditure and matters related to the administration of the Organization.
The Administration and Finance Committee consists of six exporting Members on a rotational basis, and six importing Members.
At its last regular session in each cocoa year, the Council appoints a Credentials Committee to serve during the following cocoa year. The Committee consists of eight members appointed on the proposal of the Chairman of the Council, four of whom are representatives of exporting Members and four of importing Members. The Committee elects its own Chairman. The Committee examines the credentials at the commencement of each session of the Council and ICCO Committees and reports without delay. It also examines and reports on any authorization given by a Member to another Member under Article 11(2).
The Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy was inaugurated in December 2003 in order to encourage the active participation of experts from the private sector in the work of the Organization and to promote a continuous dialogue among experts from the public and private sectors.
Since its first meeting in March 2004, the Board has implemented an ambitious work programme covering cocoa consumption, cocoa bean processing into intermediate cocoa products, cocoa bean marketing, post-harvest treatment of cocoa beans and training, and cocoa farm establishment and cultivation.
Its role is that of an advisory body which advises the Council on issues of general and strategic interest to the cocoa sector, including long term structural developments in supply and demand; the ways and means of strengthening the position of cocoa farmers, with a view to improving their livelihoods; proposals to encourage the sustainable production, trade and use of cocoa; the development of a sustainable cocoa economy; the elaboration of modalities and frameworks for promotion and consumption; and any other cocoa-related matters within the scope of the Agreement.
The Council, at its meeting in March 2013, decided to greatly expand the Board from its previous 16 members, although the Board still includes experts from both exporting and importing countries, appointed by the Council every two years. The Board may designate one or more alternates and advisers to be approved by the Council.
The Board met for the first time in its expanded form on 23 September 2013.
The Expert Working Group on Stocks was created in 1989 to support the ICCO Secretariat in considering the problems associated with assessing the level of world cocoa bean stocks. It is composed of representatives and analysts from cocoa producing countries, industry and trade associations, cocoa processors and chocolate manufacturers. The Group conducts an annual survey on warehouse stocks of cocoa beans and establishes an assessment of the level of world cocoa bean stocks. It also considers various other issues to improve the reliability of the assessment of the world level of cocoa stocks, such as the harmonization of statistics on production, grindings and stocks.
The Chairman of the Expert Working Group on Stocks is Mr. Stephen Wateridge (Tropical Research Services).