World Confectionery Conference 2022 plans taking shape

While pressing challenges remain for the global confectionery sector, a host of industry successes will be celebrated with our 2022 World Confectionery Conference this autumn, writes Neill Barston.

It’s been nearly a year since our debut event went online amid the pandemic, and it drew a fantastic response from our digital audience from around the globe.

The core topic of sustainability within industry will once again take centre stage, as we look to host our first physical event, which will be held at our intended original venue of the Brussels Marriott Hotel, Grand Place, Belgium, on 9 September.

It will be supported by a major awards presentation that will serve to highlight the wealth of great work being done across our sectors of confectionery, snacks and bakery, that have steadfastly continued amid considerable tests over the past couple of years.

Unfortunately, the pandemic may not yet be over, but as Confectionery Production has shown with the State of the Industry event in the US, and ISM in Cologne, the live event arena is very much back on the map, as businesses look to re-engage with one another after an extended period of absence.

For our showcase in Brussels, we will have a core group of five keynote speakers including Caobisco European confectionery, biscuits and chocolate trade association, policy presentations from Ferrero and Fairtrade, as well as major trends under the microscope from Innova Market Insights and FMCG Gurus.

Our experienced speakers will be joined by a dynamic range of additional presentations across the packaging, processing and wider systems segments of our industries.

It’s intended as an open and engaging forum, which is also a key celebration including evening drinks offering a further chance for friends and colleagues to network.

Speaking to Confectionery Production about its participation at the event, Muriel Korter, director general of Caobisco, believed it will offer an excellent opportunity for the entire  sector to reconvene once again.

She said: “We are delighted to be involved again with the World Confectionery Conference. I am extremely hopeful that it will be an ‘in-person’ version this time around at the heart of Brussels.

“It is the world’s capital of chocolate, but also the capital of the European Union, where companies across Europe will be able to showcase the high added value manufacturers in our three sectors, confectionery, fine bakery ware and chocolate, bring to delightful and world-renowned products via their savoir faire,” explained the director.

She felt the conference would offer a fine opportunity to share industry innovative developments among producers and to exchange views on current challenges affecting chocolate, biscuits, and confectionery in the European Union, as well as wider global markets.

There will be plenty of engaging debate anticipated at the event, courtesy of our QandA session, which we hope will address our industries’ most pressing challenges.

Reflecting on recent events, the director general added: “The Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian war has shaken our sector’s economic health immensely, but there is a strong will of the industry to overcome these challenges. This can only be done if the sector shows its resilience.

“Now more than ever, we need to showcase that our products are an integral part of our European culinary heritage, allowing people to experience and share exceptional moments of indulgence and joy.

The conference is an excellent opportunity to show that we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world and the communities we engage with, by ensuring our products are safe, fulfil high quality standards and are produced in a responsible way.”

Brussels is renowned as one of the world’s capitals of chocolate

Due diligence response
As previously reported, Caobisco has been prominent in seeking due diligence from EU legislation on key issues of tackling child labour and deforestation in supply chains.

According to the director of the organisation, which represents over 13,000 businesses in the confectionery sector across Europe, it is rising to the major policy tests before it.

She added: “One of the key priorities for our sector is to ensure that our products are manufactured responsibly and to the highest standards, minimising environmental impact and respecting human rights in our value chains.

“It is something we have called on for quite some time now. Back in early 2020, when the EU Commission issued its report on due diligence requirements through supply chains, Caobisco had called for an EU-wide mandatory due diligence approach, aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and with the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains.

“Caobisco believes due diligence is a shared responsibility for all supply chain actors, who must act collectively to achieve a sustainable industry from “farm to fork” and to address systemic environmental and human rights issues.”

Furthermore, she added that many of its members already have their own corporate initiatives in place to try and improve farmers’ well-being, improve human rights and combat deforestation.

In Caobisco’s view, the missing element is the due diligence frameworks to support these ventures, which will ultimately help deliver greater transparency for the entire industry. These topics and more besides will be forming a core element of this year’s must attend conference, so here’s hoping we’ll have the chance to explore its many vital issues with you in person this September in Brussels.

-For editorial enquiries, contact Neill Barston at [email protected]  and for sponsorship and World Confectionery Awards enquiries, contact Amy Best, at [email protected]

Awards entries
Among our industry showcase’s core elements will be a celebration of excellence across the entire sector with the launch of the World Confectionery Awards.

While there may be challenges facing global economies, there are many reasons to highlight achievements across our fields of business.

Traditionally, confectionery, snacks and bakery markets have often been at the centre of wider industry innovation, which we aim to put firmly in the spotlight.

With many outstanding developments across our sector, and as our parent company, Bell Publishing, passes more than two decades of publishing, we believed the timing was right to ensure significant developments and breakthroughs are recognised.

The awards, voted for completely by those working within the industry, will mark supplier innovations across equipment, ingredients and finished product market segments.

They will be presented at a drinks reception that draws our conference to a celebratory close in Brussels on 9 September 2022, with event delegates expected from a wealth of small and medium enterprises, as well as larger businesses from around the globe.

In total, there will be five supplier awards presented. Each business will be allowed to nominate a maximum of one company innovation into each of these honours.

This year, the categories are:
• Equipment innovation – Dedicated to the overall
design of new or existing equipment
• Sustainability – Focusing on efficiency of equipment
and systems for confectionery and snacks sectors
• Team of the year – Marking leading team contributions
and achievement to an individual business
• Ingredients innovation – Celebrating major
breakthroughs in ingredients
Finished product innovation – Showcasing
dynamic new finished product confectionery lines

The awards are free to enter, with companies able to place entries until 8 July 2022 to nominate in each respective category. This will be done through the World Confectionery Conference website, which is now live.

Entries should include a brief 200-word description on why their nomination has made a difference to the sector over the past year.

The awards will be independently moderated by our editorial board, and to ensure neutrality, only one vote per person is permitted. Multiple votes from an individual, or excessive votes from any one company will be discounted. There will be a shortlist announced prior to the event, with accolades being presented at the conference on 9 September 2022.


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