World Cocoa Foundation confirms new leadership team amid key partnership meeting
Mawuli Coffie joins WCF leading its sustainability activities in Ghana. Pic: WCF
As the World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting gets underway in Amsterdam this week, the organisation has completed its new leadership team, as it continues to expand its operations, writes Neill Barston.
The US-founded trade body, which includes a broad array of leading confectionery and cocoa business, is presently holding its latest gathering in the Netherlands, placing future market sustainability under the microscope, tackling issues including farmer pay, deforestation and key social matters including the ongoing challenge of eradicating child labour within the sector.
Consequently, the WCF’s expanded leadership team has been tasked with furthering its longstanding goals, and includes Vice President of Operations, Dougal Freeman, who is leading the organisation’s finance, strategy and operations with an integral role in the broader growth and performance delivery.
In addition, Vice President, Programmes has been named as Peter Koegler, who is set to aid transformative change in the cocoa sector. He designs and leads the strategies for both WCF’s programmes and critical impact initiatives , reporting directly to the WCF President. Mariette Verbruggen is Vice President of Corporate Affairs.
She is overseeing WCF’s global communications and corporate affairs strategy and stakeholder engagement; articulating a vision for sustainability in the cocoa sector and driving the strategy priorities of the WCF. The recent addition of Finance Director, Bert Kramer who leads a team of four across WCF offices worldwide, further strengthens the organisation’s financial stewardship.
Mawuli Coffie is the newly appointed country Director for the WCF Ghana Office. He will spearhead and oversee all programmatic and operational activities in Ghana, playing a crucial role in advancing WCF’s mission to promote cocoa sustainability (main image). He has an extensive background in international development and management spanning over two decades, and a proven track record in successfully leading and managing complex donor-funded development programmes in over 13 Sub-Saharan African countries, targeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. His expertise lies in maintaining scalable development models and fostering innovation in delivery, impact and inclusive development.
A significant milestone in the new strategy adopted in October 2022 was the decision to extend WCF’s presence beyond Washington and to establish a global network of WCF hubs strategically positioned in crucial cocoa sector locations. All three new senior leaders will be based in Europe. Chris Vincent, President of WCF, stated, “As we navigate the path toward a sustainable cocoa future, the strategic decision has been to extend the World Cocoa Foundation’s presence beyond Washington.”
He continued, “Through recruiting the senior leadership team in Europe, we are closer to the sustainability teams of our large members and the major cocoa markets, aiming to forge stronger partnerships and interventions, catalysing impactful initiatives that support sustainable cocoa farming practices worldwide.”
The World Cocoa Foundation is enthusiastic about this new chapter and looks forward to driving its strategy forward as a convening body, bringing together all stakeholders worldwide to drive impact initiatives critical to the sustainability of the entire cocoa supply chain with diverse organisations that seek to find solutions and who wish to work in genuine partnerships to deliver impact.