Latest News From The ICCO

4 February 2016

Dear Mr. Sako Warren

Thank you for your open letter of 2 February.

We would remind you that the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) represents all stakeholders in the cocoa value chain, and as such, is prepared to cooperate with any actors in that chain. The objective of giving genuine cocoa farmers a stronger voice in the global conversation about the cocoa value chain, started in ICCO long before the ICCFO was established. This culminated in the Best Cocoa Farmer Award, designed by the ICCO and presented for the first time in Amsterdam at the second World Cocoa Conference in June 2014.

The programme of the upcoming World Cocoa Conference in the Dominican Republic has a Farmers Forum lasting a full day, to which all cocoa farmers are invited. This will take place on Sunday 22 May and all cocoa farmers can participate as long as they are registered participants to the ICCO’s World Cocoa Conference. Farmers are already coming from all over the world to participate in the Conference, including in several sessions of the main Conference that are specifically aimed at them and at their issues and concerns.

I suggest that you join us, rather than piggybacking on our established event with a competing conference of your own, a day before ours, for which you are charging participants a registration fee and soliciting sponsorship. This, in my view, is a deplorable and unfair practice, and is against the interests both of the ICCO and of the cocoa sector in general.

However, your members are welcome to join us at the World Cocoa Conference, and, doing so, would be able to speak to all parts of the value chain, not just to other farmers. That way, we can make progress on the serious issues arising in the cocoa sector.

We want to bring together all the different parts of the cocoa chain, very much including farmers, in order to achieve the ambitious goals that we have of making the whole chain more sustainable and of bringing benefits for all, but especially for the farmers.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Jean-Marc Anga
Executive Director
International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)

London, 28 January 2016 -- The ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) met today, Thursday 28 January 2016, to review the level of world cocoa bean stocks. The EWGS is composed of experts in the cocoa field who meet once a year, at the invitation of the ICCO, to review and analyse the results of the ICCO’s annual survey of cocoa stocks held in warehouses worldwide. The survey is conducted every year since 2000 and aims to improve transparency in the cocoa market.

The result of the latest survey showed that world cocoa bean stocks rose to 1.505 million tonnes as at the end of the 2014/2015 cocoa year (30 September 2015), representing stock levels at 3,000 tonnes higher than the previous year. This result appeared to show a smaller supply surplus than the one published by the ICCO in November 2015 in its latest Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics (QBCS), estimated at 36,000 tonnes for the 2014/15 season.


Location of cocoa bean stocks 30 September
30 September
   (thousands of tonnes)
(thousands of tonnes)  (thousands of tonnes)
of which:      
Europe 677 763  86
Licensed US warehouse stocks                  254 244 -10
TOTAL ESTIMATED 1,502 1,505   3
Total world stocks (statistically-derived) QBCS 1,565 1,601  36

Totals and differences may differ due to rounding


The EWGS would like to note that caution should be exercised in the interpretation of the difference between the results of the survey and the statistically derived stocks.

The ICCO Secretariat maintains, so far, its supply surplus estimate of 36,000 tonnes for 2014/15 as published in its latest QBCS, and to be revised only in its next Bulletin due at the end of February 2016, taking into account the outcome of this survey.

Madagascar on 29 December 2015 signed the International Cocoa Agreement 2010 and provisionally applied it, the United Nations Treaty Section has confirmed.

Click here to see the official notification of signature to the Agreement from the United Nations.

Pictured: Mr. H.E. Mr. Zina Andrianarivelo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Madagascar signs the International Cocoa Agreement 2010 at United Nations headquarters in New York

The ICCO is seeking candidates for the post of Executive Director, the chief executive officer of the Organization.

The successful candidate will be expected to take up his or her post in January 2017.

Details of the post's requirements, tenure and remuneration are available for download. The contact details for prospective candidates are also included. The deadline for receipt of applications is 31 March 2016.

For details in English, click here.

For details in French, click here.

For details in Russian, click here.

For details in Spanish, click here.

In mid-October, the ICCO’s Director of Economics and Statistics Mr. Laurent Pipitone took part in a series of conferences across Peru aimed at raising awareness about opportunities in the international market for fine or flavour cocoa.

Peru's cocoa production has doubled in the past five years to over 80,000 tonnes in the 2014/2015 season, and the country’s output is expected to continue to surge in the coming years. However, while the country has traditionally been a large fine or flavour cocoa producer, most of the recent increase was the result of new plantations of conventional cocoa. This development has led to the need to review and discuss with the various local stakeholders the country’s cocoa strategy in terms of market opportunities and profitability, in the short and long terms.

Pictured: The ICCO's Laurent Pipitone makes a presentation in Lima (above); The Peru Cocoa Alliance Conference at Pucallpa, Ucayali (below); Peru Cocoa Alliance Director Jose Iturrios Padilla and his team with Jose Isuiza and Laurent Pipitone (bottom)  

The series of conferences, entitled ‘New tendencies on the international cocoa market: opportunities for Peru as a fine flavour cocoa producer’ was organized by the Peru Cocoa Alliance, an initiative supporting Peruvian cocoa growers, supported by USAID. The conferences aimed to inform Peruvian policymakers, cocoa growers, investors and international cooperation representatives about global cocoa market developments and to demonstrate the opportunities for Peru to produce fine or flavour cocoa for specialized international markets.

Over a period of four days, Mr. Pipitone visited a number of different areas of the country. The first stop was Pucallpa, Ucayali, where he saw the fine or flavour cocoa fields using agroforestry systems in San Martin de Mojaral, Campos Verdes. Mr. Pipitone and the Alliance’s Director Mr. José Iturrios interviewed field owner, Mr. José Isuiza, who explained why he decided to invest in fine or flavour cocoa with the Peru Cocoa Alliance team.

After a press conference with 35 journalists, Mr. Pipitone participated in a conference at Ucayali River Hotel, with Regional Governor, Mr. Manuel Gambini and regional government representatives in attendance. After the conference, at a lunch with investors, Mr. Pipitone met representatives of regional authorities, cocoa organizations and cooperatives.

At Tarapoto, San Martin, after another press conference, Mr. Pipitone made a presentation at a conference at San Martin National University Auditorium, along with regional authorities, representatives of DEVIDA (the National Commission for Legal Affairs and Alternative Development) and owners of local chocolate companies, who participated as panelists. At the lunch that followed, representatives of regional authorities, cocoa organizations and cooperatives were introduced to Mr. Pipitone. The Alliance then invited him on a tour of Tropical Crops Institute (ICT), where they presented their research on cocoa.

In the capital, Lima, following press interviews with the national media, Mr. Pipitone took part in a conference bringing together national authorities, investors, traders and a range of stakeholders, before more interviews and a farewell reception.

On his last day in Peru, Mr. Pipitone met USAID Mission Director Mr. Lawrence Rubey at the US Embassy and afterwards made a presentation to the Alternative Development Office team, attended by the Peru Cocoa Alliance. Mr. Pipitone also had a meeting with Ms. Carmen Rosa Chavez, Director of Agricultural Business at the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture.

In total, during the week, 580 producers, investors, students and regional government representatives participated in the conference in Pucallpa, 187 in Tarapoto and some 292 in Lima, in addition to 55 press impressions made in all three places.

London, 27 November 2015--The International Cocoa Organization today released its revised estimates, summarized below, of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans for the 2014/2015 cocoa year. The data published in Issue No. 4 - Volume XLI - Cocoa year 2014/2015 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the beginning of November 2015.

Summary of revised estimates

Cocoa year
2013/2014 2014/2015 Year-on-year change
estimates a/
(thousand tonnes)   (Per cent)
World production 4 372
4 158 4 201
- 171 - 3.9%
World grindings 4 322
4 131 4 123
- 199 - 4.6%
Surplus/deficit b/        6  - 15     36
End-of-season stocks 1 565
1 601 1 601 + 36 + 2.3%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 36.2% 38.8% 38.8%

a/   Estimates published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XLI - No. 3 - Cocoa year 2014/2015
b/   Surplus/deficit: net world crop (gross crop adjusted for loss in weight) minus grindings
Totals may differ due to rounding.

This issue of the Bulletin contains the Secretariat’s revised estimates for the 2014/2015 cocoa year as well as data for the past four years of production and grindings of cocoa beans, detailed by country. The main features of the global cocoa market are illustrated in colour charts. In addition, the Bulletin includes comments on crop and demand prospects in the leading countries for the current season, and a review of price developments on international markets for cocoa beans during the 2014/2015 cocoa year. 

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2011/2012 to 2013/2014 and quarterly statistics for the period July-September 2013 to January-March 2015. Details of destination of exports and origin of imports for leading cocoa exporting countries are also provided. Historical statistics on cocoa trade and consumption, by country and by region, for the period 2005/2006 to 2013/2014 are presented for reference. 

Copies of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, including Microsoft Excel files and Adobe PDF format, can be ordered by completing and returning this form, or from the ICCO Secretariat at the address below:

International Cocoa Organization
Westgate House
London W5 1YY
United Kingdom

Tel:             +44 (0)20 8991 6000
Fax:            +44 (0)20 8997 4372
E-mail:        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Participants from all over the region and beyond attended the third in the series of ICCO seminars on the cocoa futures market and economic modelling of the cocoa futures market, held in Bali, Indonesia in August.

The programme, designed for cocoa producing regions, has already had success reaching Latin American stakeholders (in Guayaquil, Ecuador in July 2013) as well as participants in West Africa (in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in February 2014).

Generously supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade, the seminar was opened Mr. Dedi Junaedi, Director of International Marketing at the Ministry of Agriculture, and heard first from ICCO Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, who stressed the importance of stakeholders gaining an understanding of the futures market and strengthening their capacity to adequately anticipate supply, demand and price trends in cocoa. Mr. Deny Kurnia, Director of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Other International Organization Cooperation at the Ministry of Trade officially opened the seminar.

The Bali seminar included two modules, with the first concentrating on the cocoa futures markets and the second reviewing econometric modelling of the world cocoa market. The futures market module was delivered by the ICCO’s Senior Econometrician Dr. Michele Nardella (pictured above) and by Mr. John Fry, Training Delivery Manager at ICE Education Ltd (part of ICE Futures Europe). It covered risks within the cocoa supply chain, futures contracts and exchanges, hedging strategies and case studies, and aimed to make sure that attendees understood the market risks within a cocoa supply chain, the counterparties’ contractual obligations in a physical contract, forward contract and futures contract, and also were able to assess the size, side and timing of a cocoa stakeholder’s exposure to risk.

Mr. Laurent Pipitone, Director of the ICCO’s Economics and Statistics Division, along with Dr. Nardella, delivered the second module, on econometric modelling of the world cocoa market. Cocoa market fundamentals, the qualitative and quantitative modelling approaches, the model’s parameters estimator, stylized facts about the world cocoa market, econometric specification, estimation and simulation, were covered by the module. At the end of the module, attendees were expected to be able to assess the current market, translate stylized facts into a quantitative expression, estimate the equation’s unknown parameters using software, build an economic model of the world cocoa market from those estimated quantitative relationships and to simulate the impact of changes in the macroeconomic environment of the world cocoa market.

In his concluding remarks, after the four-day seminar, Mr. Pipitone thanked the Government of Indonesia for its strong support of the seminar both before and during the event. Mr. Ery Novrizac Yunas, on behalf of his Director Mr. Kurnia, praised the ICCO Secretariat’s work in successfully implementing the capacity building programme in the Southeast Asian region.

Feedback from the 70 attendees was broadly positive and participants found the seminar helpful and pertinent.

Over 70 participants from all over the West African region attended the ICCO's International Seminar on the Development, Implementation and Evaluation of Cocoa Projects, held in Accra, Ghana in June.

The seminar, kindly sponsored by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Ghana Cocoa Board, aimed to enhance the capacity and skills of relevant officials and other stakeholders involved in the development of the cocoa sector to prepare for and implement cocoa projects.

Opened by the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Dr. Stephen Opuni (pictured above, second from left), Mr. Yusuf Daya of Afreximbank (above right) and ICCO Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga (above, second from right), the seminar included presentations from Mr. Yunusa Abubakar and Mr. Moises Gomez of the ICCO, Mr. Ebenezer Tei-Quartey of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Dr Coffi Noumon of the African Capacity Building Foundation (at left above), Ms. Teresa Widmer of Swisscontact and Mr. Daya.

Over its four days, the seminar covered project identification, project preparation and analysis, prject appraisal and review, project implementation and management, project evaluation and impact analysis, and project management software.

The seminar assessment forms completed by all the participants showed that generally they found the training to have been useful and pertinent in enhancing their knowledge of project management.

At the end of the sessions, Mr. Abubakar presented seminar certificates to all the participants, and thanked the Government of Ghana, the Ghana Cocoa Board and Afreximbank for its support. Dr. F.K. Oppong, Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, then officially closed the proceedings by encouraging all participants to apply the knowledge that they had gained at the seminar to further develop the cocoa sectors of their respective countries.

The International Cocoa Organization is pleased to announce that the greatly expanded and improved World Cocoa Directory 2015/2016 is now available in printed and online editions.

The new edition of the Directory, last published in 2013, now contains over 4,100 entries, including 1,400 new entries and 1,300 amendments, to provide the most up-to-date guide to cocoa and chocolate companies and organizations worldwide.

Reflecting both the Organization's comprehensive connections within the cocoa and chocolate industry, and a great deal of thorough research, the new Directory includes full contact details as well as indexes based on both geography and activity category for the thousands of organizations included. 

Activity categories in this new edition include :

  • Trade and Industry Associations, Government bodies and NGOs
  • Associations of farmers, smallholders and cooperatives
  • Carriers and Transport Lines, as well shipping brokers
  • Certification bodies and suppliers of certified cocoa
  • Chocolate manufacturers, chocolatiers and artisanal chocolate makers
  • Chocolate and confectionery distributors and suppliers                
  • Exporters of raw and semi-finished cocoa from origin countries
  • Fumigation, pesticides and fertiliser suppliers and services
  • Trade and industry publications, consultants and other cocoa sector information resources
  • Manufacturers and suppliers of cocoa processing and handling plant and machinery, including allied quality instrumentation, as well as manufacturers and suppliers of chocolate and confectionery production equipment
  • Suppliers of industrial packaging, systems and components for cocoa beans, cocoa products and semi-processed chocolate, including bagging lines, sacks and container liners, as well as suppliers of retail packaging machinery and products
  • Processors of cocoa beans into semi-finished products, suppliers of semi-finished products to industry, processors and suppliers of cocoa by-products and processors of semi-finished cocoa products into chocolate confectionery
  • Cocoa research institutions, chocolate and cocoa museums and universities involved in cocoa research
  • Superintendents of cocoa and quality inspection services
  • Importers, traders and brokers of physical cocoa as well as futures brokers and traders, insurance companies and banks and law firms specialized in commodity and international trading
  • Warehouse keepers, port authorities, port facilities suppliers, port operators, providers of dessicants and buyers of damaged cargoes 

As a unique reference work, the World Cocoa Directory 2015/16 has also been expanded with over 20 reference articles produced by experts and covering all aspects of the cocoa and chocolate business. In this section, you can find the latest details of the world cocoa market, what is currently affecting it and the way it is likely to develop in the coming season; the current trends in the global chocolate market; a look at the Dominican Republic, venue for the third World Cocoa Conference in 2016, through the eyes of one of its most important cocoa suppliers; a guide to risk protection on the current futures markets; cocoa's role in Papua New Guinea; a review of some of the latest cocoa processing and quality control methods; an informed guide to handling cocoa beans and powder in plant; and a report on the developments in the growing and increasingly sought-after fine or flavour cocoa sector, among other in-depth editorial material.

The printed edition of the World Cocoa Directory 2015/2016 is very easy to use, with a traditional alphabetical listing and two indexes (by country and by activity category) and as such is the ideal tool to facilitate contact business contacts and opportunities and present a fascinating 360 degree view of the world's cocoa and chocolate industry. This version comes in a hand-bound, hard cover edition, with clear text on hard-wearing silk paper, and very much a luxury item at £285 per copy, which includes express courier charges worldwide.

The online version, to be updated on a regular basis, is available only in combination with the printed version for only £395. This version will be accessible via a password provided by the ICCO, specific to a particular company or organization and can be shared within the same location. The user will have access until September 2017 to the entire Directory database via the fully searchable online version, with full cross referencing by geography, activity category and keyword.  

Generous discounts are given for multiple copy sales, and further details of these are available from Philippe Pestelle at the ICCO (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

To receive your copy, and to get your password for the online version, click here to download, complete and return the attached order form by email or fax.

The ICCO is pleased to be able to offer the brand new third edition of the widely respected Pesticide Use in Cocoa Manual, compiled by Dr. Roy Bateman.

The manual, which will be of interest to anyone involved in or concerned with the cultivation of cocoa, has been fully updated and is being published as of September 2015.

You can download the full manual by clicking here.

London, 25 September 2015—In a momentous decision, the International Cocoa Council has approved the relocation of the headquarters of the International Cocoa Organization from London to Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, Abidjan.

The long-anticipated decision was taken at the 92nd regular session of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, held in London in late September.

Under the decision, the Council authorized the Executive Director to begin the relocation to Abidjan with effect from 1 October 2015, and stipulated that the process should be completed at the latest by 31 March 2017. In the Ivorian city, the Organization is to move into newly refurbished offices provided by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, which has also agreed to cover the costs of the relocation itself.

The International Cocoa Organization has been based in London since its founding in 1973.

The decision to relocate the ICCO’s headquarters to Abidjan was first taken in 2002, but civil unrest in the country disrupted the relocation process, which was subsequently suspended. At its 85th regular session in Guayaquil, Ecuador in March 2012, the Council agreed that if the United Nations security level number two (low threat) had been achieved across the whole country at the September 2015 regular session, relocation to Abidjan would proceed.

In a separate decision, the Council tasked the current Executive Director--a national of Côte d’Ivoire, the new home of the Organization--with launching the process of recruiting a new Executive Director.

ICCO Secretariat

International Cocoa Organization
Westgate House
London W5 1YY
United Kingdom

Tel:  +44 (0)20 8991 6000
Fax: +44 (0)20 8997 4372
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ICCO Agreements

The ICCO International Cocoa Agreement is available to download in Acrobat PDF format.

Go to the ICCO Agreements page

ICCO Membership Procedure

The procedures for becoming a member of the International Cocoa Organization are provided in Articles 52 to 57 of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.

How to Become an ICCO Member - International Cocoa Agreement 2010

General Information

Further information on the ICCO, the cocoa market, statistics, meetings, or any other subject related to the world cocoa economy can be obtained by contacting the Information and Media Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.