International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) Panel of Experts on fine flavour cocoa to meet in Madagascar in June 2023

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 30 September 2022. The International Cocoa Organization is pleased to announce that the next meeting of the ICCO Expert Panel on fine flavour cocoa will be held in Madagascar in June 2023.

Following talks held on 29 September at the Organization’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the 52 Member countries of the ICCO decided by consensus to accept Madagascar’s bid to host the meeting of the Panel on fine flavour cocoa.

This decision was proudly and enthusiastically welcomed by the Madagascar delegation, led by Mr. Razafindravahy, Minister of Industrialization, Trade and Consumer Affairs and President of Madagascar’s National Cocoa Council (CNC). The International Cocoa Council, chaired by H. E. Mrs. Lugon-Moulin, Ambassador of Switzerland to Côte d’Ivoire, highlighted the relevance of Madagascar’s dossier and the quality of the Minister’s presentation.

Commenting on the decision, Mr. Fontayne, Vice-President of the CNC, remarked: “Madagascar is certainly proud to be hosting this meeting, but above all it is an international event that must involve all those countries and all those cocoa farmers who are constantly working to improve quality, one of the surest ways to improve farmers’ incomes”.

The Expert Panel, meeting in June 2023, will update the list of countries appearing in Annex “C” of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010, and review their percentage exports of fine flavour cocoa. This Panel, whose membership was renewed by the Council in 2021, will comprise twelve experts from the private and public sectors, representing the main cocoa producing and consuming regions.

At the Panel’s last meeting in 2019, a total of 25 cocoa-producing countries were classed as exclusively or partially producing “fine flavour” cocoa, characterised by a complex sensory profile with balanced and distinctive aromatic notes.

Though only accounting for around 12% of world exports, the fine cocoa sector is growing faster than the traditional cocoa sector and commands higher market prices, thereby improving farmers’ incomes and enhancing the sustainability of the cocoa sector, in line with the objectives set out in the ICCO’s strategic action plan.