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EXPO 2015 – Percussion and Chocolate welcome Côte d’Ivoire to the Cocoa Cluster

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MILAN – Côte d’Ivoire has signed a contract to participate at Expo Milano 2015 within the Cocoa Cluster.

The ceremony held in Sala Sforza at Expo Gate, throughout the day on July 18, was followed by a big party, attended by the Commissioner General of the Ivorian space, Victor Ouloupohi; the General Manager of the Participants Division for Expo 2015 S.p.A., Stefano Gatti; the Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire in Italy, Janine Tagliante Saracino; the President of Eurochocolate, Eugenio Guarducci, and the President of Fairtrade Italian, Andrea Nicolello Rossi.

The event also involved children, beginning with a workshop organized in the morning by the Università Cattolica di Milano, entertaining younger guests with drawings and colored pencils.

The day was immersed in tribal rhythms of Ivorian percussionists who by the sheer power of their music brought in passersby in Via Beltrami, engaging them in their dance. Africa is the continent with the highest participation at Expo Milano 2015.

As the Ivorian Commissioner General, Victor Ouloupohi, observed, “Côte d’Ivoire is experiencing a period of growth and economic dynamism and wants to make a tangible contribution both to the Universal Exposition and to the debate on nutrition and sustainability.”

Cocoa and Chocolate


The undisputed star of the day was the cocoa: the central feature of the Cluster in which Côte d’Ivoire is taking part, together with Cameroon, Cuba, Gabon, Ghana and Sao Tomé and Principe; and the fundamental ingredient of chocolate, one of the most energy-giving and beloved foods around the world.

Cocoa, of which Côte d’Ivoire is the leading producer worldwide, fill the room with its powerful, sweet aroma. 36% of the world’s production comes from Côte d’Ivoire: a commemorative plaque made of chocolate, made by the Laboratorio Dolci Libertà in Busto Arsizio Prison, offered a reminder of this important fact.

It is for this reason that the Country chose to participate in the Cluster dedicated to this raw material with its Theme Statement “Sustainable Cocoa Production for the Entire Planet” (Fournir durablement the Cocoa à toute la Planète).

The sculptor Andrea Gaspari, in the early hours of the afternoon, carved a large block of chocolate giving it the shape of a cabossa, the fruit of the cacao tree.

While towards the end, Davide Comaschi, world champion chocolatier, delivered a cooking show, with tastings of pralines.

Eurochocolate and Fairtrade

As the President of EuroChocolate, Eugenio Guarducci, noted: “Today offers an example of a typical day to be had by visitors to in the Cocoa Cluster at Expo Milano 2015”.

It was also an occasion for underlining the public debate about the possibilities for fairer trade practices, led by the President of Fairtrade Italia, Andrea Rossi Nicolello.

“Fairtrade has a vision that is also a challenge: to allow farmers to decide their future and ensure a product price that is fair, equitable and consistent.”



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