CAA spokesperson Shirley Choo said it has been monitoring closely the developments and with “a heavy heart”, it has pulled the plug on the event. The conference will now take place on June 1 and 2 at the same venue, Fairmont Ballroom, Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore.
“On February seventh, the Singapore government stepped up its risk assessment from DORSCON Yellow to DORSCON Orange. The safety of our attendees and our support staff remains the utmost priority. Coupled with our duty to do everything we can in our power to prevent the virus from spreading, we’ve taken the difficult but correct step of postponing the event with immediate effect,” said Choo.
The event will bring together over 500 of the world’s leading players in cocoa and chocolate to Singapore for two days of discussions, networking and deal-making, ending with a gala dinner.
Since it last convened in 2017, Asia’s growing affluence and changing lifestyle has boosted consumption of cocoa products, raising demand year on year. Asia’s cocoa processors are now heading for their busiest year on record, with a target of one million tonnes, 25% of the global grind.
In contrast to this boom in demand, production of Asian cocoa beans has dwindled – giving the outlook for both sustainability and fundamental supply a particularly high importance, the CAA said.
Topics on the agenda for 2020 include the macroeconomic outlook for Asia and the world, to Asian cocoa supply, demand and sustainability, and marketing and innovation trends.
Mars will also be sharing its recent findings surrounding female empowerment and women’s role in the cocoa supply chain in a special Women in Cocoa & Chocolate session.