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. Brigitte Laliberté – Working Group Coordinator, Cocoa of Excellence (CoEx) Programme / CacaoNet Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Italy
  2. Bill Guyton - Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), USA
  3. Brad Kintzer - TCHO, USA
  4. Carla Martin - Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI), USA
  5. Carolina Aguilar - Lutheran World Relief, USA
  6. Charlotte Martin - International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), Côte d'Ivoire
  7. Daniel Domingo - ECOM, USA
  8. Darin Sukha - Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
  9. Ed Seguine - Seguine Cacao, Cocoa and Chocolate/Guittard Chocolate, USA
  10. John Kehoe - Guittard Chocolate, USA
  11. Juan Francisco Mollinedo - Asociación Mesoamericana del Cacao y Chocolate Finos (AMACACAO/CUNAKakaw), Guatemala
  12. Julien Simonis – Independent Consultant, Belgium
  13. Martin Christy - International Institute of Chocolate & Cacao Tasting (IICCT), UK
  14. Mey Choy Paz -  Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA)/MOCCA, Peru
  15. Nene Akwetey-Kodjoe – World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), Ghana
  16. Nubia Martinez - Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM), Peru
  17. Pierre Costet – Independent Consultant, France
  18. Renata Januszewska - Barry Callebaut, Belgium
  19. Rick Peyser - Lutheran World Relief, USA