User login

To share, meet and learn for sustainable cocoa


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Origin Chocolate Event takes place in seven halls of the beautiful Royal Tropical Institute. You can experience, taste and learn about all...

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

The new organization will create a single agriculture sustainability standard, it will simplify the certification process and continue to improve...

Thursday, 09 June 2016

On 22-25 May 2016 the 3rd World Cocoa Conference took place in The Dominican Republic. Over 1300 participants from 64 countries attended the...

Wednesday, 08 June 2016

An International Cocoa Research Network and Conference
Meeting notes, Bavaro Dominican Republic, 26 May 2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Amsterdam, 29 april 2016

Vandebron laat iedereen zelf 100% duurzame energie kopen van onafhankelijke producenten, zoals boeren met een...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The department of Food Science and Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partnership with the Cocoa Processing...

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

• Pattern of volatile substances traceable to region
• Method usable in fraud...

Thursday, 07 April 2016

Strengthening position of farmers in cocoa value chain

The DFFS provides an alternative interface for interactions between farmers,...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Join us at CMT’s 2nd Cocoa Revolution in Ho Chi Minh, 9-11 March 2016 for the honored address by Laurent Pipitone, Director of the Economics and...

Monday, 04 January 2016

Can you imagine a world without chocolate? No? But will it always be available and what are the challenges the makers face today? And did you know...

International Cocoa Research Network and Conference

An International Cocoa Research Network and Conference
Meeting notes, Bavaro Dominican Republic, 26 May 2016
The last dedicate international meeting of cocoa researchers was October 2012 at the 17th COPAL international cocoa research conference in Cameroon. The proceedings have yet to be published. A 18th COPAL conference was planned, which CIT had offered to host, but COPAL has now announced they will not be organising another such meeting. Although there are a number of specialised networks dealing with cocoa (see Annex 1), these groups have no opportunity to organize meetings, and platforms do not exist for several disciplines, particularly the social sciences (i.e. living income, economics of farming and trade, governance), or for all the segments of the cocoa value chain, notably trade, fine flavour marketing, and consumer issues such as health and nutrition.
Cocoa researchers have increasingly expressed the need to meet and exchange on the latest developments in cocoa research, notably as part of the discussions around the findings of a survey conducted to develop a cocoa and coffee research agenda in Wageningen and at the 2nd World Cocoa Conference (WCC) in 2015. Following on from these discussions, was a call for “closer collaboration and alignment between the stakeholders, acting in a co-ordinated manner to pool existing resources and to use expertise within individual stakeholders and initiatives to maximize its impact through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and other strategies’’ in the Amsterdam Declaration. At the WCC 2016 in Bavaro, a group of researchers took the initiative to discuss how to continue networking and the form an international, multidisciplinary cocoa conference could take. It was noted that WCF planned a regional conference in Nigeria in 2015 which could not be held for security reasons, and have proposed an international conference at the end of 2016. Coordination with WCF and other research events is critical, but no coordinating mechanism or body currently exists internationally for cocoa based research.
Given this background, this note is intended as a discussion document to stimulate and revitalise a broad, multidisciplinary network of cocoa researchers further, to bring together existing platforms (see annex 1 and 2 for lists, additions encouraged) and develop proposal for an international cocoa research conference.
Network and conference aims
A network of cocoa researchers aims to ensure the visibility of scientific evidence about cocoa and provide a channel for its application to contribute to solve challenges in the cocoa sector.
An international cocoa research conference could:
- Serve as a physical arena for networking and exchange where the state of the art and innovative scientific work on cocoa could be presented.
- Results could feed into the 4th WCC in Berlin
- Stimulate the formation of international, regional and value chain groups of researchers
Options for conference themes include:
1. Focus on major challenges and themes in the Global Cocoa Agenda , which are most recently reflected in the WCC2016 (see annex 4), allowing inter-disciplinary exchange and to tailor the results better for stakeholders to use, in preference to disciplinary themes (e.g. genetics, breeding, pathogens).
2. Focus on innovation that can contribute to solve major issues in the cocoa sector/chain and be translated for use by those all along the cocoa value chain.
3. Use several days to allow the state of the art and innovations to be presented and then use day(s) to bring this together into implications for users.
4. Working out evidence presented into formats is useable for stakeholders such as farmers, farmers organisations, traders, manufactures, NGOs, governments etc.
5. Regional themes e.g. pests and diseases in Latin America......
6. Value chain themes i.e. farming, trading, service provision, manufacturing etc.
7. Furthering the development of and making specific the mechanisms how international network of cocoa researchers could stay in contact.
Wageningen UR (Wageningen, the Netherlands), CIRAD (Montpellier, France) and ICT, Peru all offered to host a conference.
Ideally such conferences could be held regularly and based alternatively in origin and production countries.
A decision could be made based on criteria such as cost and ease of access for international researchers, availability of complementary support.
It was recognised that the choice of location would affect the number of researchers attending from any given region, but that this is inevitable given the global nature of the chain.
Target participants
“Researchers” is defined widely as including researchers and academics at universities, public and private institutes, knowledge based organisations and institutes, consultancies, NGOs and the private sector.
We envisage around 300 to 500 researchers would be interested, judging by the 200 to 300 researchers attending COPAL meetings, and if more social scientists are included.
Options are open for discussion. Possibilities include:
- Annually In-between the WCCs i.e. mid 2017 – allowing input to feed into the WCC.
- Every two (such as WCC and the international coffee meetings) or three years
- Just before or after the two yearly WCCs, i.e. the WCC 2-18 Berlin – if held prior to the meeting would allow results to be feed into the WCC
A preference was expressed for mid to late 2017, which would give enough time for a committee to form and organise, solicit funding and support, and for researchers to plan.
A more modest meeting than the WCC model is proposed.
Funding is required to lower participation costs, particularly to cover the costs of :
- Conference translation (French-English-Spanish and Portuguese, the more languages the higher the costs!)
- Conference materials (i.e. printing program)
- Editorial work to develop findings into usable format(s) by stakeholders to aid the transfer knowledge and technologies
- Translation of proceedings
- Editing and publishing proceedings
- Contributions towards refreshments
- Others? Ie contribution towards costs of participation by origin country researchers based on most innovative abstracts?
A brief brainstorm indicated that potential sponsors could be:
- German government
- Dutch government
- Others?
Organising -Steering- Committee
We need to define who is part of the Organising -steering- committee. This may involve issues such as (legal and country representative of hosting country, funders, representative of existing specialist cocoa scientific committees etc. Perhaps representatives of research organisations in the private sector, public sector, NGOs, institutional bodies such as ICCO.
Scientific committee
A multidisciplinary scientific committee is seen as essential to organise the conference, with its roles including:
- Conference calls could save costs, funds could assist travel for a chairperson
- Finalise the conference themes, based on inputs from stakeholders (ICCO, WCF, farmers, NGOs industry, and researchers, others?). The themes identified in the Research Agenda (see annex 3) and the WCC program (see Annex 4 for overview) and Bavaro Declaration LINK provide excellent starting points.
- Review and accept papers. One idea is that preference could be given to multidisciplinary papers which respond closely to the themes proposed and offer innovations and insights for practice and/or technology transfer
- Organise publication and dissemination of the proceedings
- Organise publishing in a dedicated journal/arena and/or promote participants to publish
- Conduct and/or oversee editorial work to develop findings into usable format(s) by stakeholders to aid the transfer knowledge and technologies.
- Others?
Suggestions for people interested to join a Scientific Committee are welcomed.
- Papers should be of a sufficiently high quality to be published in a conference proceeding which is published online within a short time frame of the conference.
- Paper editing would be required with summaries already done in all languages
- Publishing options include via Cocoa Connect, participating and host organisation and via ICCO, COPAL, etc.,
- An option to be investigated is setting up a cocoa section and publishing via International Horticulture Section (IHSC). The implications of this route (lock in) need to be worked out
- Other ideas?

Anyone interested to join a working committee to take the next steps forward can contact Verina Ingram or any of the people listed in footnote 1. Any comments and suggestions on this discussion document are welcome by email or in person.

Footnote 1
Verina Ingram, Wageningen UR ; Wilbert Phillips-Mora, CIAT ; Brigitte Laliberte, Bioversity International or ; Francois Ruf, CIRAD ; Philippe Bastide, CIRAD ; Anna Laven, KIT ; Enrique Arévalo Gardini ICT ; Edward S. Seguine, Seguine Consultancy.
Darin Sukha, University of West Indies, Paul Hadley, University of Reading , Gabriela Alvarez, University of Lausanne; Stephanie Daniels SFL; Gideon Ramtahal, University of West Indies and Agbongiarhuoyi Anthony Eghe, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria; and Laura Scandurra USFDA; also expressed interest but were unable to make the meeting.


Logo Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands

Logo Royal Tropical Institute