European Cocoa Association selects Barry Callebaut’s Steven Retzlaff as its chairman

Steve Retzlaff appointed European Cocoa Association chairman

The European Cocoa Association (ECA) has appointed Steven Retzlaff, president global cocoa at Barry Callebaut as its new chairman.

He will hold the post for the next two years, and joins the executive committee which consists of Wim Groen, CEO of Theobroma, as vice-chair and Henk-Jan Weekhout, director at C. Steinweg – Handelsveem, as ECA Treasurer, to form its executive committee.

The appointment of the new chairman, which was decided at an association meeting held in Zurich Switzerland will see Mr Retzlaff take up his post this month.

In addition to selecting a chair, the group approved its board directors, which includes Patrick de Boussac (Touton), Paul Davis (Sucres et Denrées), Matthias D’hondt (Molenbergnatie), Gerard A. Manley (Olam), Harold Poelma (Cargill), Patrick Poirrier (Cemoi), Olaf Reichardt (Fuchs & Hoffmann), Mario Snellenberg (Nederland), Martin Versteeg (CWT) and the three members of the executive committee.

As the ECA Chairman, Mr. Retzlaff has also been appointed as the new Chairman of the Primary Food Processors Platform.

Speaking on his new role, he said: “It is a pleasure, an honor, but also a great responsibility to chair the European Cocoa Association for the next two years. After 18 years of existence, the key role played by ECA is now well recognized by all the cocoa-chain stakeholders.

“My ambition is to pursue the strategy agreed by the Board, which requires us to remain vigilant in our monitoring of regulatory developments on trade, food safety and sustainability which would impact our business operations.

“At the same time, I will try to continue to strengthen the collaboration on relevant food safety topics both with ECA members as well as with EU/international authorities.

As an industry, we need to remain attentive to tomorrow’s opportunities and threats and anticipate changes in the cocoa supply chain.”

Mr Retzlaff first joined Barry Callebaut in 1996, and was appointed President Global Cocoa and member of Barry Callebaut’s executive committee in 2008.

The European Cocoa Association is a trade association that groups the major companies involved in the cocoa bean trade and processing, in warehousing and related logistical activities in Europe. Together, ECA members represent 75% of EU cocoa beans grinding, 50% of Europe’s industrial chocolate production and well over 40% of the world production of cocoa liquor, butter and powder.

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