ICCO celebrates 50 years of cocoa sustainability commitment

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Former ICCO Council President Abel Fernández addresses members at the recent Council Meeting. Pic: ICCO
Former ICCO Council President Abel Fernández addresses members at the recent Council Meeting. Pic: ICCO

Related tags Icco Cocoa Côte d'ivoire Sustainability

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) marked half a century of commitment to sustainable growth in the cocoa sector with a special celebration held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where it is now headquartered.

The event was attended by more than 1,000 guests, including the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency M. Alassane OUATTARA, and His Excellency M. Nana AKUFFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana.

Established in 1973 under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and operating through successive International Cocoa Agreements, the ICCO has played a major role in advocating the sustainability of the cocoa sector and a living income for producers.

The 50th anniversary celebration provided a chance not only to look back on the Organization’s achievements but also to reflect on the future challenges facing the cocoa sector.

Initially based in London, the International Cocoa Council – the Organization’s supreme decision-making body – voted in favour of relocating to Abidjan in 2017, at the invitation of the government of Cote d’Ivoire.

Over the years, the Organization has become a reference centre and source of statistical information on the world cocoa economy, facilitating policy dialogue and international cooperation between its exporting and importing members, as well as with private sector players.

Representatives of the ICCO’s 52 Member countries, the Diplomatic Corps, international organisations, civil society and the local and international private sector came together to voice their support for the Organization’s work.

Professor Chalmin of Paris Dauphine University rounded off the evening with a lecture: ‘The ICCO, the sustainability of the world cocoa economy and a living income for producers’.

Council Meeting

The ICCO also held its Council Meeting in Abidjan under the chairmanship of Mr Abel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, during the same week as the Organization's 50th anniversary celebration.

Held at the Palm Club Hotel in Abidjan it was the first 100% face-to-face meeting format in three years of remote participation, and a spokesperson said ICCO members engaged in a productive exchange of views, with some of the key topics discussed during the week including:

•           Election of a new Chairman of the International Cocoa Council, Mr Rafael Soriano, Ambassador of Spain to Côte d'Ivoire

•           Update on the next World Cocoa Conference to be held in Brussels, 21 to 24 April 2024.

•           Update on the latest developments of the world cocoa market.

•           Update of the Annex C (Fine Flavour Cocoa) of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010

The next 109th International Cocoa Council will be held in April 2024 in Brussels, Belgium, following the 5th edition of the World Cocoa Conference to be held from 21 to 24 April 2024.

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