Cargill president Harold Poelma elected as chairman of the European Cocoa Association

The European Cocoa Association (ECA) has elected Harold Poelma, President of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, as its chairman for the next two years.

In addition, Paul Davis, Head of Cocoa at Sucden, has also been appointed as the ECA ViceChair, and Mr. Christian Vollers, Managing Director at Vollers Group, as the ECA Treasurer.

The three new appointments will form the new ECA Executive Committee. As part of his first reaction in his new role, Poelma thanked Mr. Steven Retzlaff, former ECA Chairman, for his great achievements and leading role during his chairmanship, notably on the significant development of ECA’s regulatory activities and increased membership.

As the organisation noted, during Retzlaff’s term, the seventh edition of the European Cocoa Forum was held in September 2019 with great success, and was reported on by Confectionery Production.

The General Assembly also decided to appoint two new Directors: Christophe Vandierendonck, Managing Director Commodities at Katoen Natie, and Enrico Pacorini, CEO at Pacorini Group.

For the next two years, the ECA Board is therefore composed of 12 Directors: Steven Retzlaff (President of Global Cocoa, Barry Callebaut), Patrick de Boussac (CEO, Touton), Gerard A. Manley (CEO, Olam), Patrick Poirrier (CEO, Cemoi), Wim Groen (CEO, Theobroma), Olaf Reichardt (CEO, Fuchs & Hoffmann GmbH), Mario Snellenberg (Commercial Director, Nederland SA), Christophe Vandierendonck (Managing Director Commodities, Katoen Natie), Enrico Pacorini (CEO, Pacorini Group) and the three members of the Executive Committee.

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

Commenting on his new role, Harold Poelma said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of our global community as well as our cocoa and chocolate community. For all ECA-members and its partners, it’s important that we continue to work together to find solutions that will help us overcome the challenges associated with this crisis and any issue that affects the industry, the trading and the logistics of the cocoa sector.

“It’s my privilege and honour to chair the ECA for the next 2 years and continue to build on the great work that has been done already to create a thriving cocoa sector for all stakeholders, including creating lasting benefits for those who need it most: cocoa growing communities.”

Harold Poelma joined Cargill in 1987 and has held various management positions in Cargill‘s refined vegetable oils business and in Cargill’s oilseeds processing division and grain trading division in Europe and the United States. He has worked in the cocoa industry for Cargill in the Netherlands since 2001. In January of 2016, he was appointed as President of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.

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