LNBCC at Chocoa Fair in Amsterdam

February 2019- Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Last month, LNBCC’s Stanley Slagmolen visited the Chocoa fair in Amsterdam in order to gain more knowledge and increase the network within the industry. Chocoa is a trade fair that brings together stakeholders from the entire supply chain, from cocoa farmers to chocolate consumers and is held every year. Amsterdam is one of the major ports through which cocoa is handled. Which is why it houses a large number of cocoa trade houses and chocolate companies.

This year, the fair was held at the “ Beurs van Berlage” in Amsterdam from 20 until 24 February 2019. This fair gave extensive information regarding all aspects of the chocolate industry. The major African producing countries; Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroun, were all represented. Also, there was a strong representation from South American producing countries.

Although Liberia did not have a stand on the fair, the country was officially represented by two officials of LACRA: Dr John S. Flomo, the Director General, and Mrs Aletha Kpor, Director International Sales. Other representatives worth mentioning were Barry Callibaut from Belgium, Daanhouwer, Cargill, Guittard, and Tony’s Chocolonely.

During his visit, Mr. Slagmolen noticed that many of these large organisations have direct relations with cooperatives in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Furthermore, issues of fair trade and the conservation of African forests were an important topic during the fair. The issues of fair trade and the conservation of African forests were very much highlighted at the fair. It is evident that various monocultures that are being practiced on the African continent have devastated the prime forests in countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast. An interesting sustainable project is currently being carried out in the Gola Rain Forest in Sierra Leone, which is next to Liberia’s national Gola park.

Mr Slagmolen also met with Bioversity International, which coordinates the Cocoa of Excellence Programme, an entry point for farmers who want to participate in the International Cocoa Awards – the only competition that recognizes the work of cocoa farmers and celebrates the diversity of cocoa flavours globally.