The Conference offers a platform to a variety of stakeholders in the cocoa and

chocolate industry



The 2015 Chocoa Conference will be held on Friday March 6th.  Featuring key note speakers from all over the world representing various market segments, the Conference is at the forefront of innovations in sustainable and high quality cocoa and chocolate.

The aim of Chocoa is to stimulate the production and consumption of sustainable cocoa and chocolate. Large manufacturers and distributors of chocolate are committing themselves more and more to the principles of sustainable cocoa. In 2010 the Dutch Government signed a voluntary agreement with large companies aiming for a 100 per cent sustainable cocoa consumption in The Netherlands by 2025. How far are they with achieving those goals?

The theme of the third Chocoa Conference is Market differentiation: The missing middle in the cocoa sector”. Niche markets and mainstream cocoa have always coexisted in the cocoa sector. There are large differences in views on quality and sustainability between and within these segments. But what is in between the niche and the large consumer markets? Is there a middle segment in the cocoa sector? And what does this market look like? How do the parties involved relate to other market segments? The Chocoa Conference will discuss the potential and challenges of different market segments for quality and sustainability, thereby exploring the potential of the mid-market in the cocoa sector. See also the programme below.

This year, the Chocoa Conference will not only provide a platform for discussion on sustainability and quality. The Conference will be part of the Chocoa Trade Fair, allowing the participants to get in direct contact with cocoa producers from all over the world. 

The Conference has for ambition to bring about more than just a one-off discussion. During the first edition of Chocoa, the Royal Tropical Institute launched the Cocoa Connect website, a digital platform where knowledge about sustainable cocoa and networks is being shared. The results of these discussions have been presented during Chocoa's Conference 2014.

Missed it or want to refresh your memories? Read the report or view the presentations on the Cocoa Connect website.

Register now for the Chocoa Conference 2015! The programme below will be regularly updated. To receive updates on the speakers as they are being confirmed, click here: 

If you want to speak at the Conference, benefit from the discount tickets for NGOs and scientific institutions or for any other question feel free to send us an email at



Friday March 6th 2015
Time 09.30 - 18.00

The Chocoa Conference is organised in collaboration with the Royal Tropical Institute and will take place in the Beurs van Berlage. This historical building, located in the heart of Amsterdam, was originally used as a commodity exchange center. 

De Beurs van Berlage | Damrak 243 | 1012 ZJ Amsterdam

To receive updates on the speakers as they are being confirmed, click here:



Buy Tickets


Currently we don't have special hotel deals for Chocoa visitors. For more information about last year's hotel deals, visit our contact page here.



Chocoa Conference 2015
Market differentiation: The missing middle in the cocoa sector
Niche markets and mainstream have always coexisted in the cocoa sector. Is there anything in between? What does a mid-market in cocoa and chocolate look like? What impact could it have on the development of higher prices for cocoa products, allowing better livelihoods for cocoa producers? The third Chocoa Conference will discuss the potential and challenges of market differentiation on quality and sustainability, thereby exploring the potential of the mid-market.


10.00    Opening. Short general introduction to the day and the vision of Chocoa

10.10    Differentiation, a market perspective

The first block will provide an introduction into market differentiation and will highlight visions from various market segments on sustainability and quality. Will concentration put a pressure on prices for cocoa? What is the impact on market differentiation? Will concentration put a pressure on prices for cocoa? What is the impact on market differentiation? Challenges exist in the fine flavour industry bringing this market segment to the wider public. What are the potential gains in the development of a middle segment in the market? 
Keynote presentations and panel discussion. Key note by a cocoa market analyst, speakers from cocoa producing companies and countries

11.20    Cocoa Break

11.50    The missing middle: stretching the market for cocoa products….
The middle market segment can be considered relatively underdeveloped. In other industries however, a middle segment is strongly developing, bringing higher quality to a larger group of consumers willing to pay a higher price. Why is the middle segment underdeveloped in the cocoa sector? What is the potential of the middle market? And how can we develop it? Can we learn from other sectors?
Presentations and panel where experts from the sector will speak

13.10     Lunch break

14.00    The consumer at the helm?   
What can we expect from the consumer? Will the consumer support a wider price range? Does the consumer care about farmer livelihoods? Will the consumer pick up on environmental issues in the cocoa sector? Does (s)he care about organic agriculture? What role does retail play? What market constraints do we have to deal with trying to achieve sustainable chocolate prices? The high end chocolate claim high sustainability impact for a small number of farmers, main consumer brands claim a possibly lower impact for a much larger group of farmers. Will the impact be enough? Do we need a mid-market to support higher impact for more farmers? 
Keynote from a consumer market analyst, short debates and panel discussion by speakers representing consumer market analysts, retail, NGOs, certification brands, fine flavour industry, mainstream industry

15.30    Cocoa break

16.00    Are we running out of cocoa or will the market and sustainability measures prevent this from happening?
Debate on the ‘Armajaro prediction’ (the world is running out of cocoa) How can we prevent the prediction to become reality? What is the contribution of a sustainable cocoa and chocolate market? What about the Dutch sector commitment to sustainable cocoa consumption by 2025 and the commitment to sustainable cocoa of several companies by 2020? 
Debate between protagonists and closing remarks by high level speakers from the cocoa sector and government representations

17.00 Drinks and opening of the Chocoa Chocolate Festival – Choco night