The event in Ho Chi Minh City from March 9 to 11, 2016 at Novotel Saigon Centre will explore how Asian cocoa origins can cater to the region’s growing demand for chocolate.
It includes an optional tour to Puratos Grand-Place’s new cocoa fermentation facility and cocoa plantations in Ben Tre on March 9.
At the conference, Hai Lam Dinh, Vietnam cocoa development manager at Mars Foods, will speak about the company’s development center and cocoa planting area in Vietnam, while Roopak Bhat, strategic sourcing manager for Cocoa, Asia Pacific for Mondelēz, will outline the company’s efforts to source sustainably.
The International Cocoa Organization’s (ICCO’s) director of economics and statistics Laurent Pipitone will also provide an update on the global cocoa and chocolate markets, emphasizing how Vietnam can benefit from rising demand from fine flavor cocoa.
Other speakers include Doug Hawkins, partner at Hardman & Co, who will talk about advances in productivity in Latin America’s cocoa sector, and Olam Vietnam’s regional controller, Prakash Chand Jhanwer, who will discuss chocolate demand and key trends in Asia.
The full program is available HERE.
ConfectioneryNews will be reporting from the event.
In a welcome letter for the conference, Dr Phan Huy Thong, chairman of the Vietnam Cocoa Committee, said cocoa was a relatively new crop to Vietnam, but with government support, the commodity was set to become one of the nation’s industrial crops alongside rubber, coffee, pepper and cashews.
Puratos Grand-Place said last year that state-owned plantations in Vietnam were set to raise the country’s cocoa production from 3,500 metric tons (MT) annually to 50,000 MT in eight to ten years.