Cargill’s Poelma elected as new ECA chairman

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Harold Poelma. Pic: Cargill
Harold Poelma. Pic: Cargill

Related tags Cocoa Cargill

The European Cocoa Association (ECA) has announced Cargill president of Cocoa & Chocolate, Harold Poelma, as the new chairman of the Association for the next two years, effective immediately.

The ECA is a trade association that groups the major companies involved in the cocoa bean trade and processing, in warehousing and related logistical activities in Europe.

Paul Davis, head of Cocoa at Sucden, has also been appointed as the ECA vice-chair, and Christian Vollers, managing director at Vollers Group GmbH, as treasurer. The three will form the new ECA Executive Committee.

Poelma thanked Steven Retzlaff, his predecessor as ECA Chairman, for his achievements and leading role during his tenure, notably on the significant development of ECA’s regulatory activities and increased membership.


The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of our global community as well as our cocoa and chocolate community. For all ECA-members and its partners, it’s important that we continue to work together to find solutions that will help us overcome the challenges associated with this crisis and any issue that affects the industry, the trading and the logistics of the cocoa sector​,” said Poelma.

Poelma joined Cargill in 1987 and has held various management positions in Cargill‘s refined vegetable oils business and in Cargill’s oilseeds processing division and grain trading division in Europe and the United States. He has worked in the cocoa industry for Cargill in the Netherlands since 2001. In January of 2016, he was appointed as president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.

It’s my privilege and honor to chair the ECA for the next two years and continue to build on the great work that has been done already to create a thriving cocoa sector for all stakeholders, including creating lasting benefits for those who need it most: cocoa growing communities​,” he said.

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