LONDON – The second edition of the World Cocoa Conference, due to take place in Amsterdam’s RAI Convention Centre next month, will bring together a dazzling array of speakers, presenters and panellists from all over the world.
Among them are Ministers from host country the Netherlands, from Ghana and Ecuador, top executives from the world’s most important cocoa and chocolate industry corporations, senior government officials from the major cocoa producing and consuming countries, cocoa farmers and their representatives from a wide range of origins, and a large number of NGOs, research and educational bodies, along with speakers whose expertise ranges from the development of the world’s chocolate markets to the effective financing of cocoa farming.
The Conference, set for 9 – 13 June, will look at the progress of governments and industry in addressing the issues identified at the first Conference, attended by over 1,000 delegates in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in 2012.
As a result, the Amsterdam edition of the Conference will look at topics including value distribution from the farm to the chocolate bar, efforts to eradicate the worst forms of child labour, improving productivity, attracting a new generation of cocoa farmers, protecting the diversity of cocoa, adding value to cocoa at origin, managing the supply deficit, promoting consumption in emerging markets and food safety issues, among many others.
The Keynote Presentation, to be made by ICCO Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, is titled ‘How to Improve Cocoa Farmers’ Incomes’ and that theme runs through the Conference as one of the most important issues in the sector today.
The Conference, kindly hosted by the Government of the Netherlands, will be supplemented by an adjacent trade Exhibition, where some of the most important organizations in the sector will display their products and services.
Also taking place at the RAI will be a series of interactive lunchtime sessions on cocoa topics organized by well-known Dutch-based stakeholders including IDH, the Royal Tropical Institute and Solidaridad.
Conference delegates and guests will also be gathering at a number of social events both on and off the premises, highlighted by a Conference Dinner at the 17th Century Maritime Museum in the heart of the city.
To take advantage of Amsterdam’s status as the world’s top port and processing centre for cocoa, a number of site visits and sightseeing tours will also take place.
Welcome assistance for the Conference is being provided by sponsors and donors, including industry leaders Cargill, Mars, ADM Cocoa, Barry Callebaut, Mondelēz, Afreximbank, Olam, ProEcuador, and Syngenta and by BASF, Bayer Crop Science, The Hershey Company, Filhet-Allard Maritime, Tradin Organic, StoPak and IDH.
The dedicated website for the World Cocoa Conference is at www.worldcocoaconference.org.