Amsterdam Sustainable Cocoa Conference

24-26 Feb 2021

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In 2021 the Chocoa Conference returns with a brand-new name, the Amsterdam Sustainable
Cocoa Conference (ASCC). The conference is held on a professional virtual platform providing
you with a real-life event experience (including business and networking opportunities) despite
the ongoing pandemic. This year’s ASCC will have the theme of child labor running throughout
the program, discussing perpetuating problems and solutions that could lead to its eradication.
2021 is declared as the “UN International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour”. In Côte
d’Ivoire and Ghana alone over 1.5 million children are still working in cocoa production. Looking
at the numbers of children involved, it looks like nothing much has been achieved in more than
two decades. But this is the pessimist view. Building on the experience of the projects started in
previous years, it can only get better.

 

Wednesday 24th of February

11:30 – 12:00 Official Opening Chocoa 2021 

Chocoa 2021 will be opened by Michel Arrion (Executive Director at International Cocoa Organization), Jack Steijn & Caroline Lubbers (co-founders of Equipoise), Mariana De La Rosa (from Gaia Cacao BV), and our moderators Anna Laven (Senior Advisor at Rockit Science) & Joost Gorter (Partner at NewForesight). They will welcome you virtually to the 9th edition of Chocoa featuring the Amsterdam Sustainable Cocoa Conference (ASCC) & the Chocolate Makers’ Forum (CMF).

13:00 – 14:00 Data is King: Digitization & Supply Chain Transparency  

This panel focuses on how data is the currency of success in fighting sustainability issues within the cocoa sector. Data are necessary to measure the impact of projects and can, when used properly, contribute to greater transparency. Several private sectors and government initiatives have already started making use of digital tools to provide transparency in the cocoa supply chain. However, a real insight into what is actually happening is still lacking. Sharing data is the basis for collective learning that will make sustainability projects more successful.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Suzanne Uittenbogaard (Sustainable Value Chain Manager at Cargill)
  • Michael Chrisment (CEO of Farmer Connect)
  • Megan Passey (Head of Knowledge and Learning at International Cocoa Initiative [ICI])
  • Friedel Hütz-Adams (Senior Researcher at SÜDWIND INSTITUT)

14:00 – 14:30 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 Anna Laven and
Joost Gorter. Keep an eye open for polls and other pleasant surprises.

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 session will be on Cocoa Trade.

14:30 – 15:30 Agroforestry: The Transformative Power of Cocoa 

Cocoa has been a major driver of deforestation and landscape degeneration. However, can
cocoa only do harm? This panel aims to explore the transformative power of Cocoa for the good.
Cocoa flourishes well as a shadow crop and is excellent in regenerative agriculture, contributing
to all P’s: People, Planet and Prosperity. We will discuss which factors are still holding back
developments, how they can be tackled, and which successes can already be reported.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Felipe Villela (Founder & CCO at reNature)
  • Robert Nasi (Director at Center for International Forestry Research [CIFOR])
  • Abolo Dieudonné (Project Manager at National Cocoa Academy in Cameroon)
  • Tatiana Ramos Maza (Executive Director at Conservation International Mexico)

15.00 – 15:30 Matchmaking carousel: Cocoa Trade

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 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.

16.30 – 17:00 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.

 

Thursday 25th of February 

11:30 – 12:30 Late Night Show at Noon 

A talk show-like panel hosted by our moderators Anna Laven and Joost Gorter. The guests of this
talk show have various backgrounds and will introduce their perspectives on burning topics such
as cocoa whole fruit, cadmium, and COVID-19, followed by an open discussion with other guests,
moderators, and the public.

The guests on this panel are:

  • Josélio Vieria (Principal Research Scientist at Nestlé) on the new whole fruit chocolate.
  • Francisco Miranda (President at Anecacao) on two years of experience with cadmium
    regulations in EU.
  • Carla D. Martin Founder & Executive Director Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute [FCCI] at Harvard University) on the impact of COVID-19 in the cocoa industry.
  • Alastair Gower (Director at The Chocolate Tree Limited) on the impact of BREXIT in his daily operations
  • José Iturrios (Director at Alianza Cacao Peru) on the Peruvian policy for organic cocoa.

13:00 – 14:00 Private-Label Sustainability Trends   

Retailers play a vital role in efforts to improve the sustainability of the cocoa sector. They determine the prices, increasingly launch their own brands, and receive the highest percentage of sales in the entire supply chain. Supply chain collaborations have started to include retail and to raise sustainability efforts. This panel discusses how we can start moving more retailers and supermarkets towards sustainable cocoa sourcing. What is their role in setting prices for A-brands and how can this contribute to a better income for farmers?

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Solomon Boateng (IMS Manager Risk & Certification at Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union
    [KKFU])
  • Joke Aerts (Inspire to Actress at Tony’s Chocolonely)
  • Antoine Resk Diomandé (Head of Corporate & Social Responsibility at Cémoi Group)

14:00 – 14:30 Meet the Farmer

Ever wondered where your cocoa comes from? Who is the face behind these magical beans that
make your chocolate so unique? In this session, you will meet the farmers behind your beloved
cocoa beans. Let’s take you through the daily life of a cocoa farmer.

14:30 – 15:30 Re-Thinking Diversification

When discussing diversification, all that stakeholders can think of are competing commodities such as palm oil, rubber, or coffee. Markets that are just as bad as cocoa, if not worse. For a long time, diversification has been proposed as a way to improve farmers’ resilience against price fluctuation on the world cocoa market. This isn’t something new: even in the cocoa belts of producing countries, farmers obtain more than a third of their household income from other products. This panel aims to rethink diversification by discussing how cocoa farmers can benefit from the growing wealth of urban centers in cocoa-producing countries and from the new Intra African Trade Agreements. What are the opportunities for national and intra African agricultural trade?

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Silvia Marcela Chavéz Campos (Undersecretary of Agribusiness at Ministry of
    Production, Foreign Trade, Investments & Fisheries Ecuador)
  • Desirée Eugenia Byrne Solis (Undersecretary of Export Promotion at Ministry of
    Production, Foreign Trade, Investments & Fisheries Ecuador)
  • Winston Adams Assante (Technical Advisor Climate Change & Natural Resources
    Management at Solidaridad Network)
  • Tedd George (Chief Narrative Officer at Kleos Advisory)
  • Jack Steijn (Co-founder of Equipoise)

15.00 – 15:30 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.

16:30 – 17:00 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.

 

Friday 26th 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.

16:30 – 17:30 Impact Investment: Money is Not the Problem 

Sustainability projects should not be regarded as charity. They should be considered as propositions that have a business case: No sustainability? No business! But should these programs be treated as costs or as investments? And if it is an investment, how can the expenses be recovered with a return? The benefits must be sufficient to reward private investors and attract capital. In this panel, we will discuss plenty of options to provide funding for investments and demonstrate that money really is not the problem.

The speakers on this panel are:

  • Cara Middleton (Investment Manager at IDH Farmfit Fund)
  • Peter Heijen (CEO at PlusPlus)
  • Oliver Hanke (Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer at 12Tree)
  • Brian Milder (Director at Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance)

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

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

19:00 – 19:30 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.

 

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