ECA Forum 2022

European Cocoa Forum calls for ‘crucial balance in food safety, sustainability, and socio-economic challenges’

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: ECA
Pic: ECA

Related tags ECA Cocoa Sustainability Chocolate

The European Cocoa Forum, held recently in Rome, Italy, was marked by frank and open discussions on how best to safeguard and direct the future of the hugely important global of the cocoa sector, said Paul Davis, European Cocoa Association (ECA) president.

The European Cocoa Association Board members and all our Membership participants were delighted to have welcomed over 410 guests who made the journey to engage in a full and dynamic event where all contributions were, not only fruitful, but also engaged, and very encouraging​,” Davis said.

This conference highlighted the following key areas of a changing cocoa industry:

• There is a collective agreement that now, more than ever, a crucial balance must be found in food safety, sustainability, and socio-economic challenges throughout the value chain. The European cocoa industry recognizes the challenges of recent pesticide use rules, especially noting the short timeline allocated for their implementation, and is committed to having all players in the value chain successfully achieve lasting compliance.

• To attain price stability, the cocoa market can only function effectively, over the long term, with satisfactory supply and demand strategies that work for both sides of the sector.

• Our session on Innovation made clear to us that the European cocoa sector will have to pursue every effort, at every link inside the chain, to respond actively to the urgent needs essential to address climate change and meet the totally justified expectations of consumers and their representatives.

• Corporate Due Diligence and the obligations likely to arise from the upcoming EU Regulation on Deforestation are increasingly clear to our members. The ECA membership is willing and actively planning to deliver on these expectations and we sincerely thank the European Commission and the many national initiators for their continued commitment, outreach, and attention to the cocoa sector.

• Fair provenance and traceability of cocoa is crucial and to be successfully implemented we need, above all, to create fair value for the millions of compliant farmers in the supply chain”.

As always, the ECA Forum also provided unique opportunities to interact and exchange views within the full spectrum of cocoa participants, including high-level officials from many cocoa-producing countries, European and International institutions, senior business leaders from the cocoa, chocolate and confectionery industry, academia, and broader civil society.

This year’s Forum brought together large delegations from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, as well as representatives from Cameroon, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Singapore, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam and the United States of America.

The Forum also hosted CHOCOVISION 2022, previously a stand-alone biannual event, but merged into a roundtable discussion on traceability in Rome.

"The ECA Board and members would like to express their most sincere thanks to all our guests and the extraordinary and distinguished speakers who contributed to the great success of the 2022 Cocoa Forum. We look forward to meeting them again in 2025 for the 9th Edition of the European Cocoa Forum​,” it said in a statement.