Chocolate Makers’ Forum
24-26 Feb 2021
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Chocoa 2020 - Chocolate Makers' Forum w/ Auro Chocolates
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Introduction

In 2021 the Chocolate Makers’ Forum returns in a virtual format allowing global key stakeholders to participate despite the ongoing pandemic. The event is held on a professional virtual platform providing you with a real-life event experience including business and networking opportunities. Chocoa 2021 invites you to discuss the most recent trends and the hottest topics in the craft chocolate industry. From sustainability matters to successful quality improvements, this year’s program offers you a delightful chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities in promising markets for high-quality cocoa and chocolate. On our professional virtual platform, we invite you to get inspired by game-changing innovations, gain new insights into relevant trends, and participate in the conversation on the future of the global craft market.

 

Wednesday 24th of February

15:00 – 15:30 Matchmaking Carouse: General

If you want to network in 2021, the matchmaking carousel is the place to be. Our professional virtual platform makes it possible to network just as you would on a real-life event. The matchmaking carousel will randomly match you based on the interest-tags you have chosen at check-in in the Chocoa app. In this way, you will be matched with a participant that meets your interest. Are you ready to network? The focus of this matchmaking sessions  for everyone who wants to connect with others.

14:00 – 14:30 Matchmaking Carousel: Cocoa Trade

The focus of this matchmaking session will be on Cocoa Trade. We will match Cocoa buyers with
Cocoa sellers and vice versa.

15:30 – 16:00 Matchmaking Carousel: General

This matchmaking session is for everyone who wants to connect with others.

15:30 – 16:30 Craft Chocolate Sustainability Impacts

Communicating your sustainability efforts to consumers can be a tough task. While consumers perceive third-party certification schemes as a credible source, they often come with deficiencies, are more tailored to the mainstream, and are also very expensive. Fortunately, they are not the only way to communicate your sustainable practices. This panel moderated by Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl (Founder of BLYSS GmbH) & Clay Gordon (Chief Chocolate Correspondent at The Chocolate Life) offers the chance to understand effective communication strategies beyond certification labels.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Jan Schubert (Bean Team Americas of Original Beans)
  • Denise Dahlhoff (Senior Researcher at The Conference Board & Wharton School)
  • Leopold Palmer (Head of Business at 20 Degrees)
  • Magdalena Crespo (Sustainability Manager at Republica del Cacao)

16:30 – 17:00 Interactive Session

In between panels there is time for you to participate in interactive discussions among
participants on various topics. This session will be hosted by our moderators. Keep an eye open
for polls and other pleasant surprises.

17:00 – 18:00 A Promising Future for Organic?

Organic cocoa has shown its importance in more and more cocoa-producing countries, especially in Latin America. Is the future for organic cocoa promising? Should other countries follow their path, for instance in Africa? Transitioning to the production of organic cocoa offers many proven opportunities but also comes with challenges. Questions remain: How much the cocoa production yield is impacted? What are the consumer perceptions, and are they willing to pay the extra price for organic? This panel moderated by Carla D. Martin (Founder & Executive Director of Fine Cacao & Chocolate Institute [FCCI] at Harvard University) & Jacob Hesse (Assistant Director at Cosecha Partners) will discuss the organic market trends and consumer preferences from the perspective of chocolate makers and farmers alike.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Santiago Peralta (Founder at Pacari Chocolate)
  • Abel Fernández (Commercial Manager at Conacado)
  • Julia Zotter (General Manager at Zotter Chocolate)
  • Rafal Taciak (Commercial Director at Tradin Organic)

 

Thursday 25th of February

14:00 – 14:30 Matchmaking Carousel: General

This matchmaking session is for everyone who wants to connect with others.

15:00 – 15:30 Matchmaking Carouse: Cocoa Trade

The focus of this matchmaking session will be on Cocoa Trade. We will match Cocoa buyers with
Cocoa sellers and vice versa.

15:30 – 16:00 Matchmaking Carousel: General

This matchmaking session is for everyone who wants to connect with others.

15:30 – 16:30 Adding Value to Cocoa & Chocolate

This panel moderated by Nick Baskett (Editor in Chief at Bar Talks) & Stephanie Daniels (Senior Director Agriculture & Development at Sustainable Food Lab) focuses on how you can innovate your portfolio, extract more value out of your cocoa and chocolate, and improve the whole value chain while you’re at it. Over the years we have seen how the added value of good quality cocoa can travel through the supply chain and translate into better quality chocolate. However, it does not end there. We will discuss opportunities such as agritourism, unique tasting sessions, and original product portfolios to boost your craft.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Greg D’ Alesandre (Chocolate Sourcerer & Co-owner of Dandelion Chocolate)
  • Warren Hsu (Founder of Fu Wan Chocolate)
  • Selassie Atadika (Chef & Founder of Midunu Chocolates)
  • Stephen Ashia (Manager at ABOCFA Ghana)

16:30 – 17:00 Culinary Art of Chocolate by Republica Del Cacao

In this interactive session, Republica del Cacao will host a chocolate demo with their Corporate
Chef Andrea Lopez and university partner ally Sebastian Navas director at USFQ- Culinary Arts
Program. They will be taking the audience through a journey in chocolate making through
various Ecuadorian regions and its cacao varieties and ingredients.

17:00 – 18:00 Cocoa Producers & Chocolate Makers on the Quality Track to Success

Everyone loves the taste of good quality chocolate, but are you aware of the efforts it takes to reach such a level? How do expert chocolate makers deliver a pleasurable experience to their consumers? This panel moderated by Nick Baskett (Editor in Chief at Bar Talks) & Zoi Papalexandratou (Lead Cocoa Advisor at ZOTO) will discuss unique game-changing techniques that have been implemented from bean production to chocolate manufacturing. Let’s understand what makes chocolate lovers even happier and how you can become successful.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Estevan Sartoreli (CEO & Co-founder of Dengo Chocolates)
  • Brigitte Laliberté (Cocoa Genetic Diversity Scientist at Alliance of Biodiversity International & CIAT)
  • Vincent Mourou (Founder of Marou Chocolate)
  • Koffi Alain Dian (Business Advisor at Agriterra/Ecakoog)

 

Friday 26th of February

14:30 – 15:00 Matchmaking Carousel: General

This matchmaking session is for everyone who wants to connect with others.

15:30 – 16:00 Matchmaking Carousel: General

This matchmaking session is for everyone who wants to connect with others.

17:00 – 17:30 Matchmaking Carousel: Cocoa Trade

The focus of this matchmaking session will be on Cocoa Trade. We will match Cocoa buyers with
Cocoa sellers and vice versa.

17:30 – 18:00 Matchmaking Carousel: Impact Investment

The focus of this matchmaking session is connecting investors to interesting projects.

18:00 – 19:00 FCIA & CHOCOA: Inspiration from Other Sectors to Boost the Market for Craft Chocolate

This panel moderated by Bill Guyton (Executive Director at the Fine Chocolate Industry Association [FCIA]) & Caroline Lubbers (Co-founder of Equipoise) explores other sectors market success in order to inspire the cocoa sector to boost the craft market. We will discuss specialty markets such as craft beer and wine. How did the craft beer market grow and how can the concept of terroir (regional circumstances that are responsible for product characteristics that drive quality and prices) seen in the wine sector benefit the cocoa sector? You will learn what exactly boosted their craft market, and how this can be applied to the cocoa sector.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Gabriele Pezzuto (Export Manager at Batasiolo Vini)
  • Jeff Abella (Co-founder at Moka Origins)
  • Ewald Rietberg (Co-Fouder at Heinde Verre)
  • Pepijn van der Ven (Beer brewer at Brouwerij Troost)

19:00 – 19:30 Matchmaking Carousel: General

This matchmaking session is for everyone who wants to connect with others.

19:30 – 20:30 FCIA & CHOCOA: How to Expand in the US, European, and Asian Markets

In this panel moderated by Bill Guyton (Executive Director at the Fine Chocolate Industry Association [FCIA]) & Caroline Lubbers (Co-founder of Equipoise) experts from America (US) and Europe (EU) will advise on how to navigate the European market, explore opportunities in the US, and launch a successful business in Asia (AS). There are plenty of opportunities to discover. However, will the US-EU trade wars impact these opportunities? and is the AS market promising?

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Todd Masonis (Co-founder at Dandelion)
  • Brendan Drake (US CEO at Hotel Chocolat)
  • Manuel de la Peña (Vice President at Luker Chocolate)
  • Matt Caputo (President at A Priori Distribution)
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