ECA and CAOBISCO host key session on cocoa standards

The European Cocoa Association (ECA) and the EU’s confectionery trade body, CAOBISCO, have delivered a key webinar on food safety within Latin America markets, reports Neill Barston.

As the ECA explained, the virtual event this week was co-hosted with the embassies of Ecuador, Peru and Colombia in Brussels, aiming to offer a crucial update on major EU policy changes on the use of pesticides and acceptable levels of cadmium within chocolate.

The major industry engagement session was attended by over 200 participants, mostly from Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador with representatives from Ministries, Embassies, EU Delegations, Producers and Exporters organisations, and the Private sector.

It was chaired by the ECA Director General Catherine Entzminger, with speakers including Marc Vidal, Quality Manager, Nederland, S.A,  Dr. Daniel Kadow, Chairman, ECA/CAOBISCO Cocoa Research Fund, Pilar Sauqué, Sustainability and Environmental Manager, INDCRESA . There were a number of presentations from the cocoa origin countries: Colombia, Ecuador and Peru that formed the core of the event.

The first session started with a presentation on new EU legislative proposals and initiatives relevant for cocoa producing countries, with a specific mention to the European Green Deal and the EU Farm to Fork Strategy.

This was followed by contributions from the Embassy representatives from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru on selected food safety matters relevant to the cocoa sector.

The following session presented the novelties and developments in relation to the cadmium CODEX activities, focusing notably on the revision of the Code of Practice for the prevention and reduction of cadmium contamination in cocoa beans, as well as the state of play concerning the draft maximum levels for cadmium in chocolates and cocoa-derived products.

Following that, the results of the research project – mitigation of cadmium contamination in cocoa, were also presented.

The last part of the webinar welcomed a presentation on the changes in EU pesticides legislation and the challenges and impact on cocoa producing countries, including a case study example of chlorpyrifos/chlorpyrifos-methyl.

It closed with a Q&A session with the audience. On Food Safety, ECA and CAOBISCO jointly monitor the implementation and future developments of EU legislation on contaminants and pesticides.

Both associations also ensure that the results of research projects conducted in collaboration with research institutes (under the framework of the Joint Research Fund) feed into the decision-making process.

The ECA-CAOBISCO ‘Food Safety and Contaminants Working Group’ deals with current and emerging issues and monitors regulatory developments mainly concerning contaminants, pesticides and other matters of common interest. For more information on its operations, see the following link.


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