London, 29 May 2013–The International Cocoa Organization today released its revised forecasts for the current 2012/2013 cocoa year and revised estimates for 2011/2012 of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans, summarized below. The data published in Issue No. 2 – Volume XXXIX – Cocoa year 2012/2013 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the middle of May 2013.

Summary of revised estimates and forecasts


Cocoa year
2011/2012 2012/2013 Year-on-year change
forecasts a/
(thousand tonnes) (Per cent)
World production 4 078 4 003 3 967 – 111 – 2.7%
World grindings 3 953 4 008 3 987  + 34 + 0.9%
Surplus/deficit b/ + 84   – 45   – 60
End-of-season stocks 1 833 1 793 1 773 – 60 – 3.3%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 46.4% 44.7% 44.5%

a/   Forecasts published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XXXIX – No. 1 – Cocoa year 2012/2013
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 forecasts for the 2012/2013 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, it 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 January-March quarter of 2013.

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2009/2010 to 2011/2012 and quarterly statistics for the period January-March 2011 to July-September 2012. 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 2003/2004 to 2011/2012 are presented for reference.

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

International Cocoa Organization
Commonwealth House
1-19 New Oxford Street
London WC1A 1NU, UK

Tel:              +44 (0)20 7400 5050
Fax:             +44 (0)20 7421 5500
E-mail: or

London, 15 May 2013—Amsterdam, the base for some of the world’s largest processors and traders of cocoa and its products, will be the location for the second edition of the ICCO’s World Cocoa Conference, scheduled to take place 9 – 13 June, 2014.

Besides bringing together key stakeholders in the world’s cocoa value chain, including governments, trade and industry, producers and civil society, to discuss the major issues of the day in the cocoa sector, the second edition of the World Cocoa Conference will review the implementation of the Global Cocoa Agenda adopted at the first edition of the event in Abidjan in November 2012. The Global Cocoa Agenda provides a roadmap for the future of the world’s cocoa sector, including concrete actions to be taken by a wide range of stakeholders to create a sustainable and equitable value chain for all involved in it. The Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, adopted at the same event, has now recorded 34 signatures from key stakeholders across the cocoa sector.

Reviewing the progress achieved along the path to cocoa sustainability will be just one of the many issues to be addressed at the Second World Cocoa Conference in Amsterdam, and as with the previous event, the growers, trade and industry, and civil society will be represented both as participants and presenters.

As at the first World Cocoa Conference, which attracted well over 1,200 participants, the Amsterdam edition will feature presentations, workshops and panel discussions involving the most senior and best informed experts of the cocoa community, making it a valuable forum for anyone in the cocoa business.

The Second World Cocoa Conference is being held for the first time in a cocoa-importing country, in Amsterdam, the hub of the cocoa trade in Europe, at the kind invitation of the Government of the Netherlands.  It will also include a trade exhibition, a gala banquet and a number of ancillary events aimed at bringing cocoa stakeholders together, and making the Conference a major networking opportunity.

More details about the World Cocoa Conference Amsterdam, including information about the venue, programme, sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities and registration, are available here.

Images by Geert Snoeijer, Amsterdam Marketing

LONDON, 14 May 2013–The International Cocoa Organization is to run an International Seminar on Terminal Markets and Econometric Modelling of the Cocoa Market at the Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 15 – 19 July 2013, the ICCO announced today.

Organized in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries of Ecuador, the week-long Seminar aims to give policy makers and other stakeholders in the cocoa sector, particularly from the Latin American and Caribbean regions, an improved understanding of the functioning of cocoa terminal markets and the enhanced ability to use econometric models to forecast market developments.

Terminal markets, also called futures markets, play a vital role in the world cocoa economy. They allow those in the trade and industry to manage their price risk, provide valuable information on storage decisions, and collect and disseminate information on world prices.  In addition to examining in detail the functioning of these markets and recent regulatory changes, the participants will review, among other subjects, the impact of speculative trading on cocoa futures prices and volatility, and price transmission between the futures markets and the physical markets at origin.

Because of the specific nature of cocoa growing, investment / disinvestment decisions in cocoa production capacity takes several years to show their full impact. The lack of adequate forecasting and / or the capacity to conduct it has been a major factor leading the cocoa sector to experience periods of boom and bust, with cocoa prices swinging between less than US$1,000 per tonne in the year 2000 to over US$18,000 in the year 1977 (in 2012 price terms). The techniques involved ineconometric modelling can be used to forecast market development and to help stakeholders, from cocoa and chocolate companies’ market analysts to policy makers, to take informed decisions regarding investment in the cocoa business and thereby, optimize their rate of returns.

The two modules of the Seminar are scheduled to run back-to-back throughout the five days. The module on terminal markets is appropriate for those with an economic or financial background. Meanwhile, quantitative economists, econometricians and statisticians make up the target group for the module on econometric modelling. However, parties with the relevant background or knowledge can participate in either or both modules.

ICCO staff and international experts with an in-depth knowledge of the subjects will deliver the Seminar training. The Seminar follows up on a number of studies on cocoa price determination and the functioning of the cocoa markets published by the Organization’s staff in recent years, and the ICCO also has built a sophisticated econometric model on the world cocoa economy and publishes regular forecasts on cocoa supply and demand based on it. Both module topics already have been the subject of well received seminars held at the ICCO headquarters in London.

The Seminar will be held in Ecuador’s cocoa trading centre of Guayaquil, at the kind invitation of the Government.

More details, including a full programme and a description of the subjects to be covered at the Seminar, are available by downloading the official announcement of the event here. Also included are details of the discounted accommodation rate available for attendees at the venue, the Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel.

Para mayores detalles, incluido el programa completo del Seminario y la descripción de los temas a ser tratador durante el evento, pueden descargar aquí el anuncio oficial. En dicho anuncio también encontrarán los precios preferenciales para los asistentes del evento, que se llevará a cabo en el Hotel Sheraton de Guayaquil.

LONDON, 10 May 2013—US-based Hershey, one of the world’s largest chocolate makers has signed the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, bringing the total number of cocoa stakeholder signatories to 34, the ICCO announced today.

Vice President Global Commodities Frank G. Day signed the ground-breaking Declaration in late February on behalf of The Hershey Company, which has headquarters in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company­­­­the largest producer of chocolate in North Americahas about 14,000 employees and annual revenues of over $6 billion. Hershey’s sustainability projects include a $10 million investment in West African origins over the next five years, with activities such as expanding its programmes to improve cocoa communities and to further develop farmer outreach.

Hershey is one of the Declaration’s latest stakeholder signatories, which range from cocoa growers through their governments to civil society and most of the world’s largest manufacturers of chocolate. The international stakeholders began signing the Declaration at a special ceremony during the first World Cocoa Conference in Abidjan in November.

The Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, which recommends specific and measurable actions to achieve a sustainable cocoa economy, reflects the more detailed proposals of the Global Cocoa Agenda. The important issues highlighted by the Agenda formed the basis of many of the presentations, discussions and panel sessions that took place at the World Cocoa Conference.

The Declaration is the first step in an ongoing process aimed at creating a sustainable future for the cocoa sector and helping to ensure that its benefits are shared along the entire chain, starting with the growers. Another World Cocoa Conference, planned for 2014 in Amsterdam, is to monitor and review the progress being made to deal with the issues outlined by the Declaration and the Agenda.

The texts of both the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration and the Global Cocoa Agenda, as well as most of the presentations that were delivered at the World Cocoa Conference, can be downloaded here.

The other signatories to the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration are: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Togo, Papua New Guinea, Mars, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Blommer Chocolate, CEMOI, Ferrero Trading, Armajaro Trading Ltd, ADM, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Petra Foods, Amtrada/Continaf, Noble Group, Olam International / Outspan Ivoire, Touton, Transmar Group, Federation of Cocoa Commerce, CAOBISCO, World Cocoa Foundation, IDH (Dutch Sustainable Agriculture Initiative), ECA (European Cocoa Association), ACP (The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States), Talents (farmer), ICI (International Cocoa Initiative) and HCCO (Hamburg Cocoa & Commodity Office GmbH).

The Declaration remains open, and all cocoa stakeholders are urged to sign it.

Pictured: Hershey’s Vice President Global Commodities Frank G. Day signs the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration.

London, 1 May 2013–Arrangements for the ICCO’s International Workshop on Cocoa Certification, scheduled for 24 – 27 June in Yaoundé, Cameroon are well advanced, with a strong speaker list from across the grower sector, the trade and industry set to discuss the controversial topic in all its aspects, the ICCO announced today.

Cocoa certification has been at the centre of intense debate in the international cocoa community ever since the subject was first introduced. From its initial perception as a niche market only five years ago, the share of Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified cocoa has surged to well over 10% of the market currently.  The cocoa and chocolate industry is under increasing pressure to demonstrate to consumers that the raw materials used in the manufacture chocolate comply with specific ethical and sustainability requirements.

This challenge is further exacerbated by the fact that certification is often perceived as a consumer-driven process, leading to doubts among many cocoa producers and their governments in relation to its benefits as far as they are concerned. In particular, an ICCO study in 2012 showed that the net direct monetary benefits may be rather limited in the short to medium term.  In addition, the co-existence of multiple standards in the sector has led to confusion among the parties involved in the various cocoa producing countries.

Dr Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director of the ICCO, stated that “With Mars, Ferrero and Hershey committing to source 100% of their cocoa by 2020 as certified and with Nestlé and Mondelēz also making strong commitments in this respect, this represents a considerable challenge for the whole industry, as these five leading companies represent about 40% of global cocoa usage.  Most importantly, while certification as it is may help, getting cocoa farmers to trade their way out of poverty has to be the priority and a pre-condition for cocoa to be sustainable. Given the complexity of the cocoa value chain, all key stakeholders have to work together with this objective!”

In view of this, the Workshop, organized in collaboration with United Nations Forum on Sustainable Standards (UNFSS), aims to bring together all stakeholders involved in cocoa certification, with the aim of building consensus on the best ways to supplement and improve upon existing certification schemes, for the benefit of cocoa farmers–a necessary condition for the long-term viability of this process.

Participants will also benefit from the experience gathered from other commodities and other fora on this matter, in particular through the collaboration with the UNFSS, which was set up to discuss developing country concerns on private sustainability standards: pooling resources, synchronizing efforts and assuring policy coherence, coordination and collaboration among UN agencies the FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UNEP and UNIDO.

The ICCO International Workshop on Cocoa Certification is to be based at the Hotel Mont-Fébé in Yaoundé, Cameroon, 24 -27 June. Details of the programme, as well as a registration form, hotel, travel and visa information are available by clicking here.