Cocoa And Chocolate Experts Convene To Discuss Sustainable Cocoa Production

September 18, 1998

American Cocoa Research Institute Plays Lead Role In Program

McLean, VA--Chocolate and cocoa experts representing companies and organizations from around the world will gather in Trinidad from September 21-24 to address the sustainability of cocoa production for future generations of both cocoa bean farmers and chocolate lovers everywhere.

The American Cocoa Research Institute (ACRI), an arm of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, will play a key role in the conference as a leading organization behind sustainability efforts. The four-day program includes a day-long ACRI workshop titled, "Setting Priorities for a Sustainable Cocoa Supply," which will address current sustainability efforts and determine priorities for future cocoa research and technology that will be applied in Africa, Asia and Latin America/Caribbean.

"This conference represents a gathering of the experts who can truly make a difference on the sustainability issue," notes ACRI Vice President Carol Knight, Ph.D. "By working together on a worldwide basis, we will be able to address sustainability issues from a consensus position more quickly than if each organization worked independently."

Conference attendees include scientists and environmental experts from chocolate companies and universities, as well as representatives from many organizations including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USAID, United Nations Development Program,Smithsonian Institution, Conservation International, the British Cocoa and Chocolate Association and the French cocoa research organization, CIRAD.

The conference is hosted by the Cocoa Research Unit of the University of the West Indies. For several years, ACRI has sponsored research aimed at assuring the world will always have an adequate supply of cocoa beans. With funding from the U.S. chocolate industry, ACRI has sponsored research on many aspects of cocoa bean growing, including sustainable farming. Sustainable cocoa bean farming involves small farmers in tropical regions who grow cocoa bean trees in the shade of larger trees. Sustainable growing provides positive economic benefits for the small farmer while also helping to preserve the rain forest.

World Cocoa Foundation

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