International Cocoa Organization appoints new executive director

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, has appointed Michel Arrion as its new executive Director.

As a Belgian national, he is presently an EU civil servant who has served as Ambassador of the European Union in various African countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire.

Formed in 1973, the ICCO, which last year opened a new African-based headquarters in Abidjan,Côte d’Ivoire (see photo below), is comprised of both cocoa producing and cocoa consuming member countries, and was created to negotiate the first International Cocoa Agreement in Geneva at a United Nations International Cocoa Conference. There have since been seven further accords that have addressed sustainability in the cocoa supply chain, with the most recent enacted in 2012.

The newly appointed director said he is looking forward to the opportunity to use his experience and knowledge of the cocoa sector to work with Producers and Consumers to surmount the challenges facing the sector. He was appointed by consensus at the late September meeting of the International Cocoa Council, the Organization’s governing body. He will serve a five-year term in the post.

The Organisation added that it is pleased to welcome Mr. Arrion and at the same time thanked the outgoing executive director, Dr. Jean Marc Anga, who recently addressed the World Cocoa Conference, highlighting the severity of financial pressures presently facing the cocoa farming sector in the Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.



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