Barry Callebaut, a cocoa processor, cocoa grinder and chocolate manufacturer, will support an industry partner, the Cocoa Merchants Association of America, on the occasion of its 95th anniversary.  Demonstrating its commitment to the industry, Barry Callebaut is returning as Host Sponsor for the annual CMAA International Cocoa Conference for the 2nd year in a row. The CMAA’s Chairman, Hugo van der Goes, says, “It has been an honor serving as the Chairman for this esteemed organization.  I am pleased that while serving as Board Chair, the CMAA has welcomed several new members, bringing a record 80 companies together to foster the trade and welfare of the cocoa beans and cocoa products industry in the United States. We are all very positive about the future of cocoa and chocolate. Consumption in North America is firm & we continue to see a lot of innovation.”
Several issues have come to the forefront over the past few years, including supply chain challenges (i.e., addressing contaminants in cocoa), increased focus on labor practices in origin countries, and assuring traceability of raw materials. Referring to the complexity of the supply chain issues, van der Goes says, “The CMAA is working closely with its industry partners, the National Confectioners Association and the World Cocoa Foundation, to share knowledge in order to achieve our common goals.” Van der Goes continues, “An industry-driven approach through the CMAA is more relevant than ever before. Our growing membership shows the value that industry participants see in sharing knowledge and working on pre-competitive solutions.”
Joining van der Goes at the conference will be a Barry Callebaut colleague, Jerry Hagedorn, who has worked closely with industry partners on Proposition 65.  Hagedorn says, “We have continued to inform our members about the Prop 65 industry-negotiated settlement (California Prop 65 Claims on Lead and Cadmium in Cocoa and Chocolate Products). We shared the details of the industry-negotiated solution which establishes clear and measurable thresholds that the majority of products can meet.  We are proud to have provided stewardship to ensure a successful resolution on this issue.”   
Rounding out the conference, Barry Callebaut Group’s Steven Retzlaff, President, Global Cocoa, will headline a panel titled, State Of The Cocoa Processing Industry: The Drive for Origin Processing, along with his industry peers.  The conference agenda includes a diversity of topics, ranging from an industry trends talk and a Bean to Bar presentation to a Supply & Demand panel.
CMAA International Cocoa Conference