Call for bids to host the 3rd edition of the International Symposium on Cocoa Research

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 02 November 2023. The ICCO Secretariat is pleased to announce the relaunching of the process for the selection of the host country for the 3rd edition of the International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR), to take place during the last quarter of 2025 or the first quarter of 2026.

The International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR), organised jointly by the ICCO and the host country, is a 4-day event during which cocoa scientists from different academic disciplines exchange their latest findings and agree on priorities for collective actions.

The Symposium offers host country institutions a unique opportunity to become a reference in cocoa research and to interact with cocoa industry leaders and high-level speakers, who will present their most recent studies and point the way forward for the cocoa sector.

The International Symposium on Cocoa Research is becoming a well-established event in the sector. The last edition held in Montpellier, France, jointly organized with CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development), has attracted relevant sponsors and over 500 participants, not only from the scientific community, but also from the entire cocoa value chain, making it a must-attend event for anyone concerned with the future of cocoa.

In view of the above, we invite all countries, ICCO Members and non-Members, wishing to host the next ISCR to consult the Terms of Reference below and to submit their candidatures before December 29, 2023.



The ICCO International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR) is a 4-day event during which cocoa scientists from different academic disciplines exchange their latest scientific findings and agree on priorities for collective actions. A scientific committee, to be established by the ICCO, will be in charge of the Symposium’s programme and the selection of abstracts under the guidance of the ICCO Secretariat.

Cocoa-exporting countries, preferably from the African or Asian continent, interested in hosting the 3rd ISCR are invited submit their bids to the ICCO Secretariat. Their expression of interest will indicate which of the following items they or their government will fully or partially finance and any other additional points that would enhance their bid to host the Symposium.

The applicant should commit to contribute to 50% of the total budget of the conference and include a written confirmation of this commitment in the bid. The other half of the budget will be covered by the ICCO. The projected budget for the 3rd ISCR, based on the final costs of the 2nd ISCR, is approximately 600,000 euros, therefore applicants should be prepared for a similar financial obligation (Draft budget available upon request).

Convention centres, tour operators and other private companies active in the hospitality and conference sector are kindly requested to provide evidence of the support (financial, and otherwise) of their public authorities.

  1. LOCATION. The venue should be in a city with easy access to an international airport.
  2. ACCOMMODATION. A number of hotels should be identified with preferential rates negotiated for participants. The hotels should include two to five-star hotels to cater for different budgets for participants.
  3. CONFERENCE ROOMS. The main conference room should have a minimum capacity for up to 500 participants. Two additional rooms are needed to hold breakout or parallel sessions. As an alternative, the main conference room could be partitioned into three conference rooms.
  4. RESEARCH DISPLAY/EXHIBITION SPACE. A Poster exhibition and another exhibition will take place during the conference. The conference venue should have enough space, adjacent to the conference rooms, to allow up to 50 standard 9 square metre exhibition stands.
  5. AUDIO-VISUAL AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT. AV, IT and office equipment (microphones, projectors, screens, laptops, printers, office supplies, etc.) are required for the three conference rooms.
  6. SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION. Simultaneous interpretation into English, French and Spanish should be available throughout the symposium in all conference rooms. Relevant interpretation personnel and equipment (headphones and translation booths) are required.
  7. SMALL ROOMS. Three small rooms should be available at the conference venue. One room should serve as an office for the ICCO Secretariat and, therefore, be equipped with a number of computers, printers and a good internet connection. The other two should be available to allow for group meetings whenever these are required during the Symposium.
  8. REGISTRATION BOOTH STANDS AND SIGNAGE. Booths set up in order for participants to register and signage in the Symposium venue should be available.
  9. STAFF FOR REGISTRATION, HOSTESSES AND RAPPORTEURS. Under the guidance of the ICCO Secretariat, an adequate number of staff to handle Symposium registration and to direct delegates at all events throughout the period of the Symposium should be available. Rapporteurs should be available to assist the ICCO Secretariat in drafting the reports for each session.
  10. CATERING SERVICES. Participants at the Symposium will be provided with daily lunch at the Symposium venue. In addition, participants will be provided with cocoa drinks, coffee, tea and snacks during breaks. Arrangements should be made within the Symposium venue for an appropriate nearby space where participants can have their lunches and cocoa breaks.
  11. GALA DINNER. A gala dinner for all participants, to be held either at the Symposium venue or at an appropriate offsite venue with transportation provided, should be included in the bid. While participants to the gale dinner will have to pay their participation, bidders are encouraged to fully sponsor the gala dinner.
  12. CULTURAL/COCOA-RELATED EVENTS OR VISITS. Part of the hospitality to be provided by the host could include cultural events to showcase the rich culture of the host country and/or a cocoa/chocolate-related visit.
  13. VISA. Assistance to obtain entry visas for Symposium participants should be provided. This could include a personal invitation letter from the Host Government to be sent – on request – to participants following registration, information on visa procedures, etc.
    The deadline for the ICCO to receive a formal bid to host the International Symposium on Cocoa Research is 29 December 2023, close of business GMT.

Draft available upon request. Bids should be sent in digital format to Mr José JIMÉNEZ PUERTA, Economist, International Cocoa Organization,

The International Cocoa Council will consider all formal bids by May 2024 at the latest.

For further information or enquiries about bidding for the 3rd International Symposium on Cocoa Research, please contact Mr José Jiménez Puerta, Economist, International Cocoa Organization; tel: +225 27 22 51 49 60; email: