Dates: February 24th, 2017
Time: 9:00 – 19:00h
Location: Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam


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chocoa conference

Participate in a debate on the edge of innovation and sustainability together with stakeholders from all over the world representing the entire cocoa chain! What are the new trends and developments for ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain?
You will find the conference programme below. Stay updated on the latest developments by sending us a note with your contact details here by mail.

The Chocoa Conference provides a platform for discussion on sustainability and quality and a direct connection to the market through the Chocoa Trade Fair, allowing the participants to meet cocoa producers from all over the world. You can also join us for the Amsterdam Cocoa Dinner ‘le Grand Diner du Chocolat’, providing you great networking opportunities and a delicious cocoa and chocolate-themed menu in Hilton Amsterdam. Chocoa 2017 will host 150 stands and 9.000 visitors during all Chocoa events. See the full chocoa-website-programme-2017 here.

conference programme

Chocoa 2017 Sustainable cocoa: integrity and transparency

Friday February 24

Moderated by Marieke Eyskoot (Sustainable Fashion Expert)

The Chocoa 2017 Conference is about the integrity and transparency of the cocoa value chain, of the stakeholders in the chain as well of decision taking procedures. The supply chain is in need of an important make over: large investments are needed, both public and private. This can only work if stakeholders in the chain understand each other’s role and motivation and if the interdependency between partners is based on mutual trust. The economic interests are massive and the competitive environment puts pressure.

In the long run, without integrity and transparency, sustainable cocoa production and sustainable chocolate consumption will never be achieved. Therefore, this year’s Chocoa Conference aims to facilitate an open debate on integrity and transparency and to create an environment that provides space for different opinions and a lively exchange of views.

Speakers with expertise in a variety of fields have been invited to the Conference in order to facilitate a broad discussion on the different topics mentioned in the programme below. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Lillianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  • Nicko Debenham, Vice President and head of Sustainability at Barry Callebaut
  • Rick Scobey, President of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)
  • Cathy Pieters, Vice President and head of Sustainability Mondelēz
  • Filip Buggenhout, Managing Director Cocoa & Chocolate at Cargill
  • Joyce Brandao, Landscape Specialist Solidaridad Network

09:00   Registration

09:30   Opening

10:00   Sense of urgency in the environmental pillar of sustainability
In general in sustainability programs and events the emphasis lies on productivity and community development. Meanwhile the pressure on the natural environment for cocoa production is increasing. In this session speakers will give us more insights in the sustainability of current cocoa practices. How do farmers, governments and industries cope with the risks involved in climate change? What about the sense of urgency? Who is driving the environmental agenda?

Our key-note speakers present the view of multilateral institutions, producing countries and the private sector. The panel is composed of farmer representatives, NGO’s, bean to bar chocolate makers and sector organisations.

11:30   Journalist panel:
Journalists play an important role in promoting transparency in the cocoa value chain and challenging public and private sector’s integrity. However if they have their own agenda or don’t check well on credibility and integrity of their sources, they can also contribute to misinformation of the audience. In this panel, we ask journalists who are active in cocoa related topics, how they guarantee their credibility and what they consider to be their role in promoting integrity and transparency.

This panel of journalists is introduced and moderated by a key-note of a spokesperson from industry or government. 

12:20   Lunch break

13:50   Progress in sustainable cocoa:
Both private and public actors have committed themselves to sustainable cocoa production and chocolate consumption. It is very difficult for consumers and other stakeholders to understand whether actors that committed to sustainable practices are on track and whether the commitment is spread wide enough to have the desired impact on sustainable cocoa production. Do companies that don’t commit have a competitive advantage? How can we demand from producing countries to commit to sustainable cocoa when most consuming countries don’t commit themselves? Is third party certification the only and right way to guarantee sustainability?

The key-notes aim to present the view of industry that has committed to sustainability, chocolate producers from producing countries and consuming countries that have not developed a national policy. In the panel we have farmer representatives, NGO’s and industry associations.

15:20   Coffee break

16:00   Supply chain integrity:
For sustainability in the cocoa sector to mature, accountability of both the private and public sector is key. But why is it so difficult to hold others accountable if their actions harm producers, the sector and the environment? How can we create a political and business climate that allows for open discussion? Are the institutions that are currently in place in the sector able to challenge stakeholders, or are bad practices reinforced? In this session we discuss accountability to contribute to a better understanding of the systemic nature of the problems in the cocoa sector and look whether we can learn from other markets and sectors on how they dealt with these kind of challenges.

We do this with keynotes from banks, industry associations and the academic world and with a panel of the financial institutions, industry and retail.

17:30   Conclusions

17:45   Auction

18:15   Drinks

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.



Chocoa conference

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