President of the World Cocoa Foundation, Rick Scobey, confirms his departure

Rick Scobey, president of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), described his role as ‘one of the great joys of my career’ as he calls time on five years in his post serving the sector, reports Neill Barston

Having led the organisation through an especially challenging period as the industry faces renewed scrutiny on progress tackling major issues of child labour, deforestation and the need for improving payment of farmers, he is set to leave this May.

He is moving on to take up a role as Executive Director of environmental organisation Traffic, which monitors global wildlife trade and promotes sustainable management of wild plants and animals.

As the WCF explained to Confectionery Production, its board of directors will take on the selection process to replace Scobey and ensure that the organisation continues to deliver on its vision of a thriving and sustainable cocoa sector, where farmers prosper, communities are empowered, and the planet is healthy.

Praising Scobey’s leadership over five years, WCF Chairman Barry Parkin said: “Rick has provided outstanding leadership in the continued evolution of WCF. Under his watch, we have developed our new vision and strategy set out in the Pathway for Sustainable Cocoa, launched the new public-private partnerships of Cocoa & Forests Initiative and CocoaAction Brazil, pivoted to a new framework to address child labor, deepened our policy dialogue on key sustainability issues with the West African governments and key donors, broadened WCF member engagement in WCF programs, and revamped internal systems and staffing to ensure an effective and efficient organisation.

As the organisation noted, Rick, who was recently interviewed by Confectionery Production on the organisation’s work, has brought energy and focus, strategic and adaptive leadership, a problem-solving perspective, and a positive and optimistic spirit to help guide WCF in the next phase of its journey. The organisation added that he had served as a great partner to the Membership, and motivating leader for staff.

We are sad to lose Rick’s leadership at this complex time, but grateful that he is leaving the organisation stronger and better equipped to tackle the continued challenges of a sustainable supply chain. ”

Commenting on his imminent departure, Scobey believed that the WCF continued to make a notable contribution to the industry, and that he had greatly enjoyed being a part of its operations.

He said: “Leading the World Cocoa Foundation over the past five years has been one of the great joys of my career. The cocoa sector is an extraordinary family of talented and committed professionals who are making a difference in the lives of cocoa farmers around the world. It has been an honour and delight to work with the WCF Team and our company members. I am very proud of what we have accomplished – together, we have made important contributions to accelerating sustainability in the supply chain, ”




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