MONROVIA, Liberia — A Liberian delegation of cocoa cooperative leaders, exporters, commercial farmers, policy makers, and regulators will be attending the 8th edition of Chocoa. Chocoa is the world’s largest sustainable chocolate trade fair that brings together the entire cocoa supply chain. It is held in Amsterdam, Netherlands from February 19-23, 2020. The 5-day event is intended to “increase the market for good cocoa and better chocolate,” and showcase the premium cocoa market opportunity.
This is the first time that multiple stakeholders in the Liberian cocoa sector will attend a cocoa conference of this magnitude. When there, Liberian producers and exporters will have the opportunity to introduce international, premium buyers and consumers to Liberia’s special cocoa bean flavor and unique production qualities.
Liberia is increasingly attracting interest from premium cocoa buyers. These types of buyers invest with a longer-term outlook and prioritize impact, including rainforest preservation, organic production, and fair trade for farmers. They also value quality. In return for special requirements, premium cocoa buyers also pay much more for cocoa beans.
The Chocoa conference will host several programs including, the European Market Academy, a Trade Fair, Chocolate Makers’ Forum, the main conference, a professional dinner and a closing Festival. Participants are expected to takeaway that “paying a fair price for good, sustainable chocolate means a better wage for farmers and consequently better cocoa production.”
With support from GROW Liberia and CBI, the following entities will be travelling to Amsterdam in two weeks: Arjay Farm Inc., Atlantic Cocoa Processing, Ebjel Flomo Legacy Enterprise, Intofawor Farmers, Liberation Chocolate, Liberia Cocoa Corporation, Palava Hut Global, Sebehill Kulasumai, Tarpaleseh, and Monleh.
Through support from GROW and CBI the participants attended a week-long workshop in Accra, Ghana in December 2019, where they were coached on how to pitch their services to investors. Participants also developed export marketing plans, where they determined which type of international buyer would be most suitable based on capabilities and needs. GROW also provided support in the preparation of promotional materials. All participants will take ~30 500g samples of cocoa along with a business cards and flyers to Amsterdam.
This event is said to be unique in its kind; bringing together stakeholders from the entire supply chain, “thereby building a bridge between the production and consumption of chocolate.”
About GROW Liberia
GROW is a agri-business and investment advisory programme that partners with businesses, investors, associations, and government agencies to accelerate inclusive economic returns within high growth industries in Liberia.
GROW is a focal point for international, premium cocoa buyers interested in investing in Liberia. GROW creates discussion spaces between Liberia’s cocoa industry regulators and stakeholders, and international values-driven investors – like LUSH, a cosmetics company with a sustainable mission. We also work with groups to promote investment and export from Liberia, such as the Dutch agency CBI. Through facilitating interactions between our producers and the international market, we actively promote Liberia’s opportunity in the premium cocoa market. Source: Loris Shannon, Knowledge Management and Communications Manager