About the Working Group

To address the urgent need for a standardized system and a common to facilitate communication among producers, buyers, manufacturers and consumers, an informal Working Group was set up in September 2015 during the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) Annual Seminar on Cocoa in the Americas. The Cocoa of Excellence Programme was asked to coordinate this Working Group with the aim to explore the development of international standards for assessing cocoa quality and flavour. The membership of the Working Group was increased in September 2017 and again in November 2018 with the aim to be inclusive and ensure that final products are available as global public goods to all the stakeholders of the cocoa value chain. The Working Group was formalised at the meeting in Paris in 2018 with the coordination of The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. 

The current members of the Working Group represent stakeholders from cocoa producers’ associations, traders, chocolate manufacturers and research organizations. 

  1. ALLIANCE of Bioversity International and CIAT: Brigitte Laliberté - Cocoa of Excellence (CoEx) Programme / CacaoNet - Coordinator of the WG, Italy

  2. AMACACAO/CUNAKakaw: Juan Francisco Mollinedo - Asociación Mesoamericana del Cacao y Chocolate Finos / Guatemala

  3. BARRY CALLEBAUT: Renata Januszewska - Barry Callebaut, Belgium

  4. CAF/ILAC: Federico Vignati - Iniciativa Latinoamericana del Cacao, Peru

  5. CRC: Darin Sukha - Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

  6. ECOM: Daniel Domingo - ECOM, USA

  7. CDP: Mey Choy Paz - USAID-Equal Exchange-TCHO Cooperative Development Programme, USA

  8. FCCI: Carla Martin - Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute, USA

  9. FCIA: Bill Guyton - Fine Chocolate Industry Association, USA

  10. GUITTARD: John Kehoe - Guittard Chocolate, USA

  11. ICCO: Charlotte Martin - International Cocoa Organization, Côte d'Ivoire

  12. IICCT: Martin Christy - International Institute of Chocolate & Cacao Tasting, UK

  13. LWR: Carolina Aguilar - Lutheran World Relief, USA

  14. LWR: Rick Peyser - Lutheran World Relief, USA

  15. PURATOS/BELCOLADE: Julien Simonis - Puratos/Belcolade, Belgium

  16. SEGUINE/GUITTARD: Ed Seguine - Seguine Cacao, Cocoa and Chocolate/Guittard Chocolate, USA

  17. TCHO: Brad Kintzer - TCHO, USA

  18. UNALM: Nubia Martinez - Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Perú

  19. VALRHONA: Pierre Costet – Valrhona, France

  20. WCF: Herve Bisseleua – World Cocoa Foundation, Ghana