The International Cocoa Council and subsidiary bodies, including the expanded Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy, as well as the Economics and Administration and Finance Committees, will meet at the Holiday Inn, Empire Way, Wembley, London, 15 – 19 September 2014.

The meetings will be preceded on Friday, 12 September by a one-day Workshop on Activity-based Budgeting for interested ICCO Member countries at the ICCO offices at Westgate, Ealing, London.

Provisional Timetable of Meetings, 12 – 19 September 2014, Wembley, London, UK

ED(MEM) 968 – Rev 1
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Workshop on Activity-based Budgeting, 12 September 2014

ED(MEM) 970
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International Cocoa Council: Draft Agenda

English French Spanish Russian

Administration and Finance Committee: Draft Agenda

AF-4-1 – Rev 1
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Economics Committee: Draft Agenda

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Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy: Draft Agenda

CB-29-1-Rev 1
English French Spanish Russian


Amsterdam, 13 June 2014—The second edition of the World Cocoa Conference, organized by the International Cocoa Organization and hosted by the Government of the Netherlands, concluded today with the adoption of the Amsterdam Cocoa Declaration, highlighting the progress made in tackling the cocoa industry’s most serious problems.

The Conference, which ran throughout the week at the city’s RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre, attracted over 1,400 cocoa stakeholders from 55 countries and from all parts of the sector, including farmers, traders, processors, chocolate makers and civil society groups. An Exhibition featured 50 stands representing various cocoa-related organizations and companies, and a series of interactive sessions organized by various Dutch-based stakeholders broadened the participation even further.

Among the highlights of the main sessions of the Conference, which featured 100 speakers and panellists from all parts of the globe, were the addresses by Dutch Agriculture Minister, Her Excellency Ms. Sharon Dijksma (pictured top), His Excellency Mr. Jean Louis Billon, Minister of Trade of Côte d’IvoireGhana’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Dr. Joe Tony Aidoo and, representing his country’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries, His Excellency Mr. Javier Ponce Cevallos, was Ecuador’s Vice Minister, His Excellency Mr. Luis Valverde.

Other Conference highlights included a keynote presentation fromICCO Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga (above, opening the Exhibition with the Mr. Roald Lapperre of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs) suggesting a new method of increasing cocoa farmer incomes; a lively panel session moderated by CNN’s Mr. Richard Quest (right, with speaker Dr. Martin Kra Nguettia Kouakou) looking at the progress in reducing the worst forms of child labour; the presentation of the new World Cocoa Foundationplatform CocoaAction by senior representatives of the world’s largest processors and chocolate manufacturers; and an ‘Inspiration Lounge’ with activities including chocolate painting, chocolate and wine tastings, and a look at the art of the chocolatier.

At the Conference Dinner held at the city’s 17th Century Maritime Museum (below), special awards were presented to Ghana’s best cocoa farmer, as a representative of the entire cocoa producing community; to Ecuador in recognition of that country’s leadership in bringing about a consensual outcome to the issue of the EU Directive on cadmium levels in cocoa, and to Côte d’Ivoire to demonstrate the success that the world’s largest producer had shown in developing a national cocoa plans to further the development goals for the country’s cocoa sector, as recommended by the Global Cocoa Agenda.

The Amsterdam Cocoa Declaration, agreed by the participants at the Conference, looks at the progress made worldwide in maintaining the forward progression toward a fully sustainable cocoa sector and identifies priority areas and actions to be implemented which would allow all stakeholders in the cocoa value chain to equitably share in its benefits.

The World Cocoa Conference, which was first staged in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in November 2012, is scheduled to be held again in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in May 2016, at the kind invitation of the Government of the Dominican Republic.

9 – 13 June 2014, Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

To download available presentations, click on the highlighted presenter names below

MONDAY 9 June 2014

13:00 Registration (Onyx Lounge) open

14:00 Exhibition (Hall 3) open

16.30 – 18.00 Exhibition (Hall 3): Official Inauguration of the Exhibition and Reception

  • Mr. Roald Lapperre, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director, ICCO

18.00 Exhibition and Registration Desk closes

TUESDAY 10 June 2014

8:00 Registration (Onyx Lounge) open

09:30 Official Opening Ceremony and Welcome Speeches

  • Welcome on behalf of the host Government by H.E. Ms. Sharon A M Dijksma, Minister for Agriculture, The Netherlands
  • Welcome Address by Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director, International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
  • Address by H.E. Mr. Luis Valverde, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Ecuador
  • Address by H.E. Dr. Joe Tony Aidoo, Ambassador to the Netherlands, Ghana
  • Address by H.E. Mr. Jean-Louis Billon, Minister of Trade, Côte d’Ivoire

11:00 Keynote Presentation: The Farmer in the cocoa value chain: How to improve his income?
Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director, ICCO (pictured)

12:00 Lunch (Exhibition, Hall 3)

(Interactive Session: Roadmap to ‘Nutrition Secure’ Cocoa Supply Chains–Room G104)

(Interactive Session: The Cocoa Fertilizer Initiative–Room G105)

From Abidjan to Amsterdam: Progress on the Implementation of the Global Cocoa Agenda

14:00 Panel 1 – Implementation of the Global Cocoa Agenda: Progress by Countries on their National Cocoa Strategies

Moderator: Dr. Joost Oorthuizen, Executive Director, IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative

Presentations by Cocoa Exporting Countries:

16:00 Cocoa Break

16:30 Panel 2 – Implementation of the Global Cocoa Agenda: Progress by Countries on their National Cocoa Strategies(Continued)

Moderator: Mr. Philip M. Sigley, Chief Executive, Federation of Cocoa Commerce

Presentations by Cocoa Importing Countries:

  • Mr. Marcel Vernooij, Head, Global Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands
  • Ms. Beate Weiskopf, Acting Manager, German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) (pictured)
  • Ms. Yulia Lebedeva, Deputy Head of Desk, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Federation
  • Mr. Conradin Rasi, Deputy Head, Economic, Finance & Trade Section, UK Embassy of Switzerland

17:30 End of day’s session

WEDNESDAY 11 June 2014

09:00 Panel 3 – Implementation of the Global Cocoa Agenda: The Industry’s Progress, Challenges and Opportunities (Panel Discussion)

Moderator: Mrs. Massandjé Touré-Litsé, Director General, Conseil Café Cacao, Côte d’Ivoire

Presentation: CocoaAction: Mr. Bill Guyton, President, World Cocoa Foundation (pictured)


11:00 Cocoa Break

11:30 Panel 4 – Value distribution from the farm to the chocolate bar (Panel Discussion)

Moderator: Mr. Antonie Fountain, Coordinator, VOICE Network


  • Mr. David Kpelle, Programme Director, Africa Cocoa Coalition
  • Dr. Victor Iyama, National President, Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN)
  • Mrs. Michèle Akamba Ava, Director of Control of Sale and Quality, ONCC, Cameroon
  • Mr. Arjen Boekhold, Chain Director, Tony’s Chocolonely

12:30 Lunch (Exhibition, Hall 3)

14:00 Panel 5 – Progress on global efforts to eradicate the worst forms of child labour in the cocoa sector (Panel Discussion)

Moderator: Mr. Richard Quest, Broadcaster and Journalist, Quest for Business, CNN

Keynote Presentation: Dr. Martin Kra Nguettia Kouakou, Director of Fight against Child
Labour at the Ministry of State, Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Vocational
Training and Executive Secretary of the Interministerial Committee for the Fight against child
trafficking, exploitation and child labour in Côte d’Ivoire.


  • Mr. Nick Weatherill, Executive Director, International Cocoa Initiative (pictured (l) with Benjamin Smith)
  • Mr. Benjamin Smith, Senior Officer for CSR, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, International Labour Organization
  • Dr. Francis Baah, Acting Executive Director, Cocoa Health & Extension Division, Ghana Cocoa Board
  • Andrew Tagoe, Head of Programme, General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Ghana

15:00 Panel 6 – Beyond Certification: Improving farmer livelihoods by mainstreaming sustainable cocoa (Panel Discussion)

Moderator: Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director, ICCO

Introduction by Mr. Christopher Wunderlich, Coordinator, United Nations Forum on
Sustainability Standards


  • Mr. Robert Yapo Assamoi, Director of Sustainability, Projects and Planning, Conseil Café Cacao, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Dr. Soetanto Abdullah, Member of the Scientific Board of the Indonesian Coffee & Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI) (pictured)
  • Mr. Alastair Child, Cocoa Sustainability Director – Certification & Community Development, Mars Global Chocolate
  • Ms. Cathy Pieters, Director, Cocoa Life Program, Mondelēz International

16:00 Cocoa Break

16:30 Panel 7 – Empowering Cocoa Producers by Strengthening Farmer-Based Organizations (Panel Discussion)

Moderator: Mr. Bertus Wennink, Senior Advisor, Royal Tropical Institute

Keynote Presentation by Mr. Nico Roozen, Executive Director, Solidaridad Network(pictured)


  • Mr. Alfonzo Baldera German, CONACADO, Dominican Republic
  • Mr. Eliseus Opoku Boamah, Executive Secretary, Cocoa Abrabopa Association, Ghana
  • Mr. Taco Terheijden, Manager, Sustainable Cocoa, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate

17:30 End of day’s session




Het Scheepvaartmuseum – The National Maritime Museum 19:30

THURSDAY 12 June 2014

Track 1 Sustainable Production: Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Viable Economic Activity (Auditorium)
The cocoa and chocolate industry has raised concerns that a lack of supply threatens the future of the sector, as productivity has not improved over the years and cocoa farming is not seen as an attractive proposition for the young generation. This session will offer a platform to discuss progress and propose innovative ideas to address this threat, focusing on making the business more financially appealing to farmers.

Moderator: Dr. Martin Gilmour (Research Director, Cocoa Sustainability, Mars Global Chocolate),
Chairperson of the Working Group on Sustainable Production(pictured)

08.30 Moderator’s Introduction: Measuring Progress on the Implementation of Global Cocoa Agenda

09:00 Panel 8 – Improving cocoa productivity and quality through an integrated system

Presentation by Mr. Jonas Mva Mva, Cocoa Program Manager, IDH The Sustainable Trade


10:30 Cocoa Break

11:00 Panel 9 – Attracting a new generation of cocoa farmers and addressing gender issues

Presentation by Mr. Omer Maledy, Executive Secretary, CICC, Cameroon (pictured)


12:00 Panel 10 – Protecting the diversity of cocoa and the prospects for fine/flavour cocoa

Presentation by Ms. Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International (pictured)


  • Dr. Freddy Amores, Leader, Cocoa and Coffee Research Program, INIAP , Ecuador
  • Mr. Martin Christy, Founder Seventy% / Direct Cacao
  • Mr. Philipp Kauffmann, Founder and CEO, Original Beans
  • Dr. Anna Laven, Senior Advisor Sustainable Development, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), The Netherlands
  • Dr. Vele Pat Ila’Ava, Acting Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Papua New Guinea

13:00 Lunch (Exhibition, Hall 3)

Track 2 Sustainable Industry Chain: Factors Affecting Farmers’ Incomes (Emerald Room)
Stakeholders involved in the supply side have been raising the alarm that they do not earn a large enough share of the value of the sector and that this threatens its sustainability, with farmers and their governments now turning to other crops. This session will bring together the various parties involved in the cocoa value chain to review major market constraints and discuss opportunities to create more value at origin.

Moderator: Mr. Michiel Hendriksz (Director of Sustainability, ADM Cocoa), Vice-Chairperson
of the Working Group on Sustainable Industry Chain

08.30 Moderator’s Introduction: Measuring Progress on the Implementation of Global Cocoa Agenda

09:00 Panel 11 – Improving market efficiency and transparency

Presentation by Mr. Samuel K. Gayi, Head, Special Unit on Commodities, UNCTAD (pictured)


Presentation by Dr. Christopher Gilbert, Professor of Econometrics, University of Trento (pictured)


  • Ms. Francesca Kleemans, Strategy and Supply Demand Manager, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate
  • Mr. Paul Hutchinson, Head of Cocoa Products Trading, Olam Cocoa
  • Mr. Friedel Hütz-Adams, Cocoa Issues Specialist, Südwind-Institut

10:30 Cocoa Break

11:00 Panel 12 – Adding Value to Cocoa at origin

Presentation by Mr. Edward George, Soft Commodities Specialist, Ecobank


  • Mr. Ricardo Meija-Aristizabal, Specialist in Sales and Development, Compañia Nacional de Chocolates, Colombia
  • Mr. Edmund Poku, Managing Director, Niche Cocoa, Ghana
  • Ms. Eliette Milagros Mora Montes, Manager, Mi Tierra, Nicaragua

12:00 Panel 13 – Financing the Cocoa Sector

Presentation by Mr. Kofi Adomakoh, Head of Project Finance and Export Development,


  • Mr. Parvindar Singh, Managing Director, Common Fund for Commodities (CFC)
  • Mr. Dick de Graaf, Coordinator, Cocoa Steering Committee, European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) (pictured)
  • Mr. Lucas Simons, Founder and CEO, SCOPEInsight


13:00 Lunch (Exhibition, Hall 3)

(Interactive Session: Value Distribution and Living Income—Emerald Room)

Track 3 Sustainable Consumption: Trends and Actions in Response (Rooms G102-G103)
Demand growth from mature markets is back, but is characterized by more stringent food safety
constraints. Appetite for chocolate products in emerging markets is expanding, and origin countries are also looking at opportunities to develop their own local markets. This session will discuss these trends and how they affect the long term supply and demand equilibrium of the cocoa sector.

Moderator: Dr. Torben Erbrath, (Managing Director, BDSI, Association of the German
Confectionery Industry), Chairperson of the Working Group on Sustainable Consumption

08.30 Moderator’s Introduction: Measuring Progress on the Implementation of Global Cocoa Agenda

09:00 Panel 14 – Managing the supply deficit

Presentation by Mr. Laurent Pipitone, Director of the Economics and Statistics Division, ICCO


10:30 Cocoa Break

11:00 Panel 15 – Promoting cocoa consumption in emerging markets and origin countries

Presentation by Mr. Shi Yuping, Chairman, Wuxi Huadong Cocoa Food Co, China (pictured)

  • Mr. Edem Amegashie-Duvon, Cocoa Trader and Head of Marketing at the Cocoa Marketing Company / Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod)
  • Dr. Soetanto Abdullah, Member of the Scientific Board of the Indonesian Coffee & Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI)
  • Dr. Peter Aikpokpodion, Leader, Cocoa Value Chain Development, Agricultural Transformation, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria

12:00 Panel 16 – Food safety in the cocoa sector: how best to help producers comply and influence legislation?

Presentation by Ms. Isabelle Adam, General Secretary, European Cocoa Association (ECA) (pictured)


  • Dr Jayne Crozier, Team Leader / Plant Pathologist, CABI
  • Mr. Chagema John Kedera, Regional Coordinator, EDES-COLEACP
  • Dr. Kenza Le Mentec, Project Coordinator, Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), Word Trade Organization (WTO)

13:00 Lunch (Exhibition, Hall 3)


Strategic Management: Working together towards a sustainable cocoa economy
This session will bring together key parties involved in the preparation of the Conference to discuss the outcome of the various sessions of the event and to agree on how they can better cooperate on specific issues.

Moderator: Dr. Jean-Marc Anga (Executive Director, ICCO) Chairperson of the Working Group on
Strategic Management

14.30 Moderator’s Introduction: Measuring Progress on the Implementation of Global Cocoa Agenda

Panel Discussions:

  • Improving Coordination in the Cocoa Sector: A Review of Initiatives to Enhance Information and Coordination through Cocoa Databank, CocoaMap and CocoaConnect
  • Measuring Progress towards the Goals in the Global Cocoa Agenda and identifying the next steps


  • Dr. Martin Gilmour, Chair of Working Group for Sustainable Production
  • Mr. Michiel Hendriksz, Vice-Chair of Working Group for Sustainable Industry Chain
  • Dr. Torben Erbrath, Chair of Working Group for Sustainable Consumption
  • Mr. Jonas Mva Mva, Vice-Chair of Working Group for Strategic Management
  • Dr. Anna Laven, Senior Advisor Sustainable Development, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) The Netherlands
  • Mr. Steve Farone, Business Manager, Cocoa Measurement and Progress Initiative, World Cocoa Foundation
  • Mr. Laurent Pipitone, Director of Economics and Statistics, ICCO

16:30 Cocoa Break and End of day’s session

FRIDAY 13 June 2014

Conclusion of the Conference and Closing Ceremony

10:30 Presentation by Mr. Achille Bassilekin, Assistant Secretary General, Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Department, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)(pictured)

11:00 Adoption of Recommendations – Amsterdam Cocoa Declaration


11:30 Closing remarks

  • Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director, ICCO(pictured (l) with Jose Antonio Martinez and Roald Lapperre)
  • Official Announcement of the host country, city and provisional dates for the Third World Cocoa Conference in 2016
  • Mr. Roald Lapperre, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands

12:30 Press Conference

 Six months
 Market Access
US$ 308,000
US$ 200,000
US$ 58,000
US$ 50,000
 ELENI-LLC Consultancy
International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
 September 2014
 March 2015


Brief Description:

The creation of warehouse-receipt systems and commodity exchanges is seen as a valuable means of improving the performance of agricultural marketing systems in Africa, following the liberalization introduced in the 1980s. Progress in the promotion of these systems and the related market institutions in Africa have generally been slow or limited. However, judging by the successful experiences in a number of developing countries in Asia and Latin America, as well as in South Africa, there is every reason to expect that such systems can become a strategically-important element for transforming agricultural marketing systems in Africa, helping to address some of the factors contributing to the present inefficiency in the trading of agricultural produce, and at the same time contributing considerably to the reduction of poverty among the rural population.  Given the importance of the agriculture sector for the economy of Cameroon and the innovative nature of this project, it is important to conduct a feasibility study for the development of warehouse-receipt systems and of a commodity exchange in the country, to ensure a correct framework is put in place for the agricultural sector to thrive and have a positive impact on farmers’ livelihood.


Project Objectives:

The main objective of the project is to carry out a feasibility study in Cameroon with a view to assessing the potential and possible conditions for the creation and operation of a commodity exchange, based on a warehouse receipt system.   This exchange would include transactions involving the key country’s agricultural commodities (cash and subsistence crops).


Project Status:

The project consultant finalized the feasibility study in Cameroon. A first draft of the study is currently being finalized by the consultan. Thereafter, authorities from Cameroon will organize a meeting between the PEA and a the project technical committee to review the results of the feasibility study and establish the way forward for the implementation of a Commodity Exchange in Cameroon. Once approved, the report of the feasibility study will be made available. The project is expected to commence before the end of 2014.

London 30 May 2014–The International Cocoa Organization today releases its revised forecasts for the current 2013/2014 cocoa year and revised estimates of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans for 2012/2013, as summarized below. The data published in Issue No. 2 – Volume XL – Cocoa year 2013/2014 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics,reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the middle of May 2014.

Summary of revised forecasts and estimates


Cocoa year
2012/2013 2013/2014 Year-on-year change
Forecasts a/
(thousand tonnes) (Per cent)
World production 3 929 4 104 4 162 + 233 + 5.9%
World grindings 4 083 4 178 4 195 + 112 + 2.7%
Surplus/deficit b/ –  193 –  115 – 75
End-of-season stocks 1 640 1 547 1 565  – 75 – 4.6%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 40.2% 37.0% 37.3%

a/   Estimates published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XL – No. 1 – Cocoa year 2013/2014
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 2013/2014 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 January-March quarter of 2014.

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2010/2011 to 2012/2013 and quarterly statistics for the period January-March 2012 to July-September 2013.  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 2004/2005 to 2012/2013 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
Westgate House
London W5 1YY, UK

Tel:              +44 (0)20 8991 6000
Fax:             +44 (0)20 8997 4372
E-mail: or

London, 27 May 2014 — Richard Quest, the well-known CNN television business broadcaster and journalist, is to moderate a panel at the World Cocoa Conference in June in Amsterdam.

Having fronted an in-depth documentary for CNN’s Freedom Project, Cocoa-nomics, originally broadcast earlier in 2014, Mr. Quest is to moderate the panel looking at global efforts to eradicate the worst forms of child labour in the cocoa sector.

Mr. Quest previously interviewed farmers, top government officials and senior industry figures as part of the Cocoa-nomics project.

British-born Mr. Quest is one of the foremost international broadcast journalists in the business sector, and he hosts the CNN programme Quest for Business from New York every weekday.

The World Cocoa Conference, which runs 9 – 13 June at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, is set to attract over 1,000 participants from all over the world and across the entire spectrum of the industry, taking in farmers, traders, the cocoa and chocolate industry, governments of producing and consuming countries, as well as NGOs and civil society.

At the Conference panel on child labour, scheduled for Wednesday, 11 June, Mr. Quest’s panellists will include Mr. Nick Weatherill, Executive Director of the International Cocoa Initiative (which was set up to investigate this issue), Dr. Francis Baah, Manager of the Ghana Cocoa Board, and Mr. Benjamin Smith, the senior officer at the International Labour Organization looking at the problem.

Full details of the second edition of the World Cocoa Conference, which is scheduled to hear from 90 speakers and panellists on numerous cocoa topics over five days, are available at the event website

You can download the latest edition of the Conference brochure here.

London, 23 May 2014 — The International Cocoa Organization in mid-May was presented with the 2014 grand prize of the Academie Française du Chocolat et de la Confiserie (the French Chocolate and Confectionery Academy).

At a ceremony held in Paris on 13 May, Academy president Xavier Conraux presented this year’s prize to the ICCO’s Director of Economics Laurent Pipitone.

The Academy, which comprises 40 elected members from a number of fields linked by a love and concern for chocolate and confectionery, presents its award annually to individuals and organizations that have assisted in the advance of standards in these areas.

The Academy said that the awarding of the prize recognised the work of the ICCO over many years, and in particular praised the Organization’s creation of the World Cocoa and Chocolate Day, which takes place annually on 1 October.

World Cocoa and Chocolate Day was established to draw public attention to the contribution of cocoa producers in the chocolate industry chain.

The especially dedicated day was initiated as the result of a decision by the members of the International Cocoa Council at their meeting in Berlin in 2008.

Pictured: Academy president Xavier Conraux (left) presents Laurent Pipitone of the ICCO  with the 2014 prize (photo by Éric Bernard)

London, 8 May 2014 — The second edition of the World Cocoa Conference, due to take place in Amsterdam’s RAI Convention Centre next month, will bring together a dazzling array of speakers, presenters and panellists from all over the world.

Among them are Ministers from host country the Netherlands, from Ghana and Ecuador, top executives from the world’s most important cocoa and chocolate industry corporations, senior government officials from the major cocoa producing and consuming countries, cocoa farmers and their representatives from a wide range of origins, and a large number of NGOs, research and educational bodies, along with speakers whose expertise ranges from the development of the world’s chocolate markets to the effective financing of cocoa farming.

The Conference, set for 9 – 13 June, will look at the progress of governments and industry in addressing the issues identified at the first Conference, attended by over 1,000 delegates in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in 2012.

As a result, the Amsterdam edition of the Conference will look at topics including value distribution from the farm to the chocolate bar, efforts to eradicate the worst forms of child labour, improving productivity, attracting a new generation of cocoa farmers, protecting the diversity of cocoa, adding value to cocoa at origin, managing the supply deficit, promoting consumption in emerging markets and food safety issues, among many others.

The Keynote Presentation, to be made by ICCO Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, is titled ‘How to Improve Cocoa Farmers’ Incomes’ and that theme runs through the Conference as one of the most important issues in the sector today.

The Conference, kindly hosted by the Government of the Netherlands, will be supplemented by an adjacent trade Exhibition, where some of the most important organizations in the sector will display their products and services.

Also taking place at the RAI will be a series of interactive lunchtime sessions on cocoa topics organized by well-known Dutch-based stakeholders including IDH, the Royal Tropical Institute and Solidaridad.

Conference delegates and guests will also be gathering at a number of social events both on and off the premises, highlighted by a Conference Dinner at the 17th Century Maritime Museum in the heart of the city.

To take advantage of Amsterdam’s status as the world’s top port and processing centre for cocoa, a number of site visits and sightseeing tours will also take place.

Welcome assistance for the Conference is being provided by sponsors and donors, including industry leaders Cargill, Mars, ADM Cocoa, Barry Callebaut, Mondelēz, Afreximbank, Olam, ProEcuador, and Syngenta and by BASF, Bayer Crop Science, Bühler, The Hershey Company, Filhet-Allard Maritime, Tradin Organic, StoPak and IDH.

For full details, including the latest speaker list for the Conference, click here to download the brochure.

The dedicated website for the World Cocoa Conference–where you can register online as a delegate and get information about sponsorship, exhibiting, travel to Amsterdam and accommodation–is at

London, 20 March 2014 — The home of the world’s highest per capita consumers of chocolate became the appropriate venue for the 89th session of the International Cocoa Council, hosted by the kind invitation of the Government of Switzerland, at the Radisson Blu Zurich Airport hotel in Zurich, 7 – 11 March.

Delegates were welcomed to Switzerland by the State Secretary, Her Excellency Marie-Gabrielle Ineischen-Fleisch, who reminded delegates of her country’s crucial role in the world’s chocolate sector, and also highlighted ongoing Swiss efforts in developing   sustainability in the cocoa supply chain.

Among the issues under discussion in Zurich were the plans for the second edition of the World Cocoa Conference (WCC) at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam in June, and ICCO Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga was able to report that four Ministers were already scheduled to be on hand officially to open the event. Besides an attractive slate of speakers and panellists from around the world, he added, the Amsterdam WCC was already guaranteed to bring together a host of top executives from the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate companies.

Dr. Anga also explained that cocoa farmers from all over the world were to be sponsored to attend the Conference, bringing their voices to the debate on the most important issues in cocoa that were to be tackled at the meeting.

The World Cocoa Foundation, CAOBISCO and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH among several others, were all involved in special sessions to take place alongside the main Conference, Dr. Anga said, and the Dutch group of stakeholder organizations was planning on holding a series of interactive sessions to enlarge on and develop the themes of the WCC. To top it all off, he said, the Conference Dinner is to be held in Amsterdam’s spectacular National Maritime Museum and is set to become 2014’s premier cocoa networking opportunity.

At the accompanying meeting of the enlarged, private sector-led Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy, Dr. Anna Laven of the Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands outlined the new blogs that are being created on the Cocoa Connect website to tie together the themes to be addressed at the Amsterdam WCC.

A report on the recently concluded second Certification Workshop was also presented to the Consultative Board, highlighting progress in identifying commonalities in standards and benefits for all stakeholders, and especially cocoa producers. While the social and environmental pillars of sustainability were already being addressed, the participants of the workshop found that it was the economic pillar—which encompasses farmer livelihoods—that still required much work.

Taking its cue from the Workshop itself, part of the Board’s sessions were conducted using an interactive ‘forum’ technique, inviting small groups of participants to discuss significant topics around tables of 12, each complete with a moderator and rapporteur. This method was found by the participants to be both stimulating and practical, and is being considered as a regular fixture for future ICCO meetings.

Council Chairman Anna Tofftén of Sweden who presided over the main meeting, introduced Dr. Stephen Opuni, the new CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, and the Council considered reports from the ICCO’s Economics and Administration and Finance Committees, which both met alongside the Council in Zurich.

The Council noted with regret that the Zurich meeting would be the final appearance of the Spokesman of the Consuming Countries, Mr. Rüdiger Ohst of Germany, who had served with distinction for several years, but was moving to a new role within his government.

A taste of Switzerland was offered to the Council delegates with a demonstration of fine chocolate making by Zurich-based confectionery giant Lindt & Sprüngli, whose master chocolatiers showed the way that quality cocoa, in the right hands, can create the sort of attractive and tasty products that are loved by consumers worldwide.



Click to download presentations from the Zurich meetings:


Royal Tropical Institute (KIT, Netherlands)

Brazil / CEPLAC Cameroon / ONCC

Indonesia – Public Private Partnerships

Switzerland – Sustainability

Germany / GIZ – Cocoa Food Link Programme

World Cocoa Foundation – Planting Material

ICCO World Cocoa Economy – Present and Future

Outcome of the Zurich Certification Workshop

London, 18 March 2014 — Over 70 stakeholders from Europe, the US, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia took part in the ICCO’s second International Workshop on Cocoa Certification in Zurich, Switzerland on 6 and 7 March, the Organization reported today.

The Workshop, organized in close cooperation with the United Nations Forum on Sustainable Standards (UNFSS), included cocoa producers, representatives of cocoa exporting and importing country governments, the cocoa and chocolate industry, certification bodies, civil society and international agencies.

Following up on the first ICCO Cocoa Certification workshop, held in Douala, Cameroon in June 2013, the Zurich workshop added to the interactive combination of presentations, interviews and panel discussions with a new forum session that invited a cross section of stakeholders to discuss the important issues in more intimate groups of 12. The tremendous energy generated by this forum had very positive participation and results.

At the workshop, ICCO-commissioned consultant Aimee Russillo presented a working document that provided the broad outline to allow the participants to begin creating a reference framework of commonalities for sustainable cocoa.

The main objective of the workshop was to assist existing and emerging national and international sustainability-related standards to develop a common framework, using a set of commonly agreed pre-competitive, minimum requirements, up to a threshold level, beyond which individual certification standards would be free to compete with one another based on their unique specific requirements, taking into account the demands of individual consumer market segments.

There was agreement at the end of the workshop that there are benefits for all stakeholders along the value chain in coming up with a simplified common language, a reference point and guide, prioritizing actions and strategies, being transparent about the roles and actions of those involved, and about progress on key issues. Other benefits, the stakeholders found, were flexibility, scalability and accessibility, affordability and comparing indicators for impact assessment and measurements, as well as reducing auditing procedures and costs.

The stakeholders agreed that long term sustainability in the cocoa sector required reaching out to the unorganized cocoa farmers (estimated at 80% of the total) to provide them with the required assistance.

While recognizing that sustainability in cocoa is a shared responsibility between all stakeholders, the participants also understood that certification is only one tool within a group of interventions supporting the sustainable development of the sector.

Other instruments, such as adequate investments in farmers, in order to address the production and supply side for sustainable production are also necessary. This has to be complemented by investments in sustainable trade and non-monetized, public good infrastructure. Stakeholder cooperation in the framework of national platforms for public private partnerships (PPPs) is a critical success factor. PPPs with governments as lead actors, including all stakeholders in an inclusive, transparent and participatory approach, are the best vehicles to deliver sustainability, and existing standard systems should aim to operate within the PPPs. A continuous improvement process, including key impact indicators to monitor and evaluate actions, is necessary for the common framework to make step-by-step progress. There must be information transparency, and data must be available and shared at all levels.

The ICCO and UNFSS will continue to support and facilitate the development of the common framework as a guide for cocoa sustainability. They will particularly focus on the gaps identified by the participants in the economic pillar of sustainability, under which the producer should be adequately rewarded.

Click on any of the highlighted presentations in the programme below to download that presentation.

A full report of the Zurich cocoa certification workshop is available for download by clicking here. A summary of the outcome of the Forum section of the Workshop can be downloaded here. A presentation of the outcome of the workshop is available for download here.


08.30 Registration




Opening remarks:

  • Hans-Peter Egler, Head Trade Promotion, SECO
  • Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director, ICCO
  • Chris Wunderlich, UNFSS Coordinator


A presentation of the outcome of the workshop is available for download here.

10.30 Cocoa Break





Panel discussions with stakeholders involved in standards systems on the way forward.

Chair: Aimee Russillo, Managing Partner, Liseed Consulting


  • Götz Schroth, Senior Manager Cocoa, Sustainable Agriculture Division, Rainforest Alliance
  • Rüdiger Meyer, CEO, FLO-CERT GmbH
  • Han de Groot, Executive Director, UTZ Certified
  • Ulrich Helberg, Coordinator, Certification Capacity Enhancement (CCE)
  • Karin Kreider, Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance
  • Jack Steijn, Chair CEN Committee 415 on sustainable and traceable cocoa
12.30 Lunch

Presentations by cocoa producing countries on national standards

Chair: Michiel Hendriksz, Director Sustainability, ADM International Sarl, Cocoa Division


Panel discussions

16.00 Cocoa Break

Panel discussions comprising representatives from the cocoa and chocolate industry.

Chair: Lee Choon Hui, Director General, Malaysian Cocoa Board


  • Darell High, Nestle
  • Cathy Pieters (Cocoa Life Program Director), Mondelēz International
  • Michiel Hendriksz, Director Sustainability, ADM International Sarl, Cocoa Division
  • Daudi Lelijveld, VP Cocoa Sustainability & MD Biolands, Barry Callebaut AG
  • Simon Brayn-Smith, Olam International
18.00 End of Session


09.00 Panel discussions with Civil Society Organizations / NGOs:

Chair: JensSoth, Expert and Advisor to SECO, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation


  • Hans Perk, Global cocoa programme coordinator, Solidaridad
  • Manfred Borer, Sustainable Cocoa Production Program, Swisscontact
  • Friedel Hutz-Adams, Sudwind/Voice
10.00 Cocoa break


Lee Choon Hui, Director General, Malaysian Cocoa Board

Cocoa Forum: Participants group into five tables, with twelve members in each group to be chaired by a moderator and assisted by a rapporteur to discuss four key questions:

  • 1) What are the gaps to have a common framework accepted by your stakeholders?
  • 2) What could be the solutions to fill those gaps?
  • 3) How do we get “buy-in” from you and your stakeholders?
  • 4) Possible role for ICCO & UNFSS in moving this process forward?

Moderators: Jens Soth and Aimee Russillo

Forum Results

12.00 Lunch


Recommendations on the way forward

  • Strategy: Practical actions on how the industry, certification initiatives and cocoa producing countries can work together using an integrated approach
  • Practical actions on how the ICCO and UNFSS can facilitate the process

Closing session and adoption of recommendations on the way forward

Peru on 4 March 2014 signed the International Cocoa Agreement 2010, the United Nations Treaty Section has confirmed.

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

Pictured: H.E. Mr. Gustavo Adolfo Meza-Cuadra Velásquez,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Peru
, signs the International Cocoa Agreement 2010 at United Nations headquarters in New York