Cocoa Association of Asia creates committees to drive key initiatives

The Cocoa Association of Asia (CAA) has unveiled three new strategic sub-committees designed to help spearhead key initiatives for the industry in Asia Pacific, writes Neill Barston.

These include Sustainability, Trade Policy, Food Safety and Quality Standards, as the organisation continues to expand its operations in the region.

As its chairman Alvin Lee (pictured main image) explained recently to Confectionery Production in an exclusive video interview, the association has been working especially hard over the past year amid the pandemic to support its members, which include major cocoa groups, through to smaller cocoa sector businesses.

“We are delighted to announce the appointments to our Sub-committees, their depth and breadth of expertise and experience makes them a valuable addition to our cause.” said CAA’s Executive Committee.

For CAA’s Sustainability Sub-Committee, Ms Fay Fay Choo, Asia Cocoa Director at Mars Wrigley and Mr Manfred Borer, Chief Executive Officer at Koltiva were appointed as Co-Directors for Sustainability and with them, Ms Michelle Cui, Senior Trader from Ecom Agroindustrial Asia Pte Ltd and Mr Vijay Karunakaran, Vice President at Olam Cocoa Indonesia.

The Trade Policy Sub-Committee is led by Mr Sunil Shankar as Director for Trade Policy. Sunil is the Senior Manager – Cocoa & Chocolates AMEA at Mondelēz International AMEA Pte Ltd, and with him, Ms Lau Han Ching, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Asia Pacific at Barry Callebaut Services Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd and Mr Heong Yong Kong, Strategic Sourcing Manager Cocoa at Mars Wrigley.

Heading Food Safety & Quality Standards Sub-Committee is Mr Ho Kim Tong as Director for Food Safety & Quality Standards. Kim Tong is also the Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Product Line Expert at Cargill and with him, Ms Irene Liew, Regional Quality Manager – Cocoa & Project at Barry Callebaut Asia Pacific and Mr Chong Ken Boon, Regional SQA Manager at Mars Wrigley.

Sunil Shankar said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the association for providing me an opportunity to play an active role in helping shape the future of the association. What encouraged me the most is that the CAA has been welcoming and open to newer opportunities where the association needs to spread its influence and also a greater need for the association to promote dialogue on various trade and non-trade issues collectively affecting its members and influence policy direction to stimulate growth of the cocoa sector in Asia.”

Also commenting on his role, Manfred Borer added: “I am thrilled with the appointment as Co-Director for Sustainability and to lead with Fay Fay the Sustainability Committee at the CAA. After four years of solely focus on Koltiva Business Development, it is now time to get back into an active role in industry associations, like the CAA, and allocate part of my daily time to promote impact at larger scale.”

Ho Kim Tong commented “ I have been working in the cocoa industry for more than 10 years and am passionate about this trade. Even though there is still a lot unknow area for me to explore, when the Chairman of CAA Alvin Lee approach me regarding this position, I felt this is the right time for me to contribute back to the industry.”

“We thank the committees for their time and passion, and we look forward to bringing the association and its membership to new heights while continuing to champion and promote the responsible consumption of what is arguably still the world’s most delicious ingredient in the region and beyond,” adds its Chairman, Alvin Lee.

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