Chocoa attracts key industry speakers on sustainability

A broad range of confectionery industry figures have been lined-up for this year’s Chocoa event taking place this week in Amsterdam.

The showcase, which starts on Wednesday, is now in its 7th edition includes special events, booths, and demonstrations focusing on the origins of cocoa, speakers from all continents, as well as a host of international chocolatiers.

Speakers include Michel Arrion (newly appointed Executive director of ICCO), Cédric van Cutsem (Cocoa Life, Mondelez International), Filip Buggenhout (Cargill), Etelle Higonnet (Mighty Earth), Peter de Koning (Amsterdam Declaration), Juan Echanova (Care America),

The discussion at the conference will focus on the consequences of changing economic and political conditions on development and sustainability policies. Its core issues have remained extremely topical, including deforestation, living income and child labour.

In addition, the event addresses how stakeholders from all parts of the value chain can  get together and join forces to realise long hoped-for positive impact plans. At the same time, there will be new topics such as farmer health and nutrition demand attention as well.

As the event’s organisers explained, research shows that health issues can lead to as much as 60% loss of productivity of farms, so health may be a key contributor to poverty and thereby to child labour. I

Organiser Jack Steijn said: “We cannot solve the problems in the cocoa and chocolate chain in one week, but it is clear that if we want to ensure lasting change in the cocoa supply chain, we need to collaborate more with other sectors. At Chocoa we are talking to everyone involved in the chocolate chain, from cocoa farmer to chocolate producer, about new solutions for old problems.”

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