The FCIA was founded in 2007 as a global, non-profit organization focused on providing support to Fine Chocolate professionals via educational programs, networking opportunities, promotional activities, discounted products and services, newsletters, and more. Our growing association includes over 200 professional members worldwide, including chocolatiers, chocolate-makers, equipment manufacturers, packaging companies, educators, and other suppliers, plus hundreds of chocolate aficionados that actively support and follow FCIA’s programs and initiatives.
•· Advocate the highest quality in all aspects of growing and production.
•· Model and promote sustainable, humane, and equitable ways of producing fine chocolate.
•· Foster greater appreciation of traditional cocoa products while promoting innovative fine chocolate artistry.
•· Celebrate the independent chocolate shop as an integral, enjoyable facet of community life.
•· Campaign for clarity, transparency and traceability in labeling.
•· Seek improvements throughout the industry from cocoa pod to finished product.
•· Support all fine chocolate producers.
•· Act as the consumer’s champion, provide education and promote choice and value.
•· Are leaders of the fastest-growing segment of the confection industry; 2013 U.S. premium chocolate sales increased 10% to $2.9 billion and that this segment has a 15% share of the entire chocolate market. These drivers should support continued 10% growth for 2014, nudging sales up to $3.2 billion.
•· Are available for interview and comment on issues relating to health and nutrition, world cocoa commodities, sustainability in cultivation, marketplace and consumption trends, confection fashion, ingredient transparency, and many other subjects.
FCIA Members Are Award Winners!
Here’s just a sample of what our members have accomplished
•· Madécasse (Chocolate-Maker / Manufacturer): Good Food Award 2011 - 44% Milk Chocolate bar Listed on Fast Company's "World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" List 2011 Food & Wine's "40 Big Thinkers Under 40" 2010 NY Chocolate Show "Best in Show" - 70% cocoa bar - 2009 Paris Chocolate Show "Best in Show" - Sea Salt & Nibs bar - 2009
•· Forte Chocolates (Chocolatier): International Awards SILVER: Sea Salt Honey Caramels 2011 London Academy of Chocolate, American Awards MASTER AWARD 2011 Taste TV & The International Chocolate Salon Most Gifted Chocolatier / Chocolate Maker 2011, Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon Best Traditional Chocolates 2011, Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon Best Caramels 2011, Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon EXCELLENCE AWARD 2010, Taste TV & The International Chocolate Salon Best Dark Chocolate 2010, Chicago Luxury Chocolate Salon Top Artisan Chocolatier 2010, and many more…
•· Moonstruck Chocolate (Chocolatier): Chef Julian Rose, Master Chocolatier awarded one of 10 Best Chocolatiers in North America (2009) Our four single origin chocolate bars awarded silver medals from Chicago and Los Angeles Chocolate Tasting Salons (2010, 2011) The Academy of Chocolate awarded Moonstruck Chocolate’s Single Origin 68% Fortunato No. 4 and 39% Venezuelan Milk chocolate bars Bronze awards in the best non bean to bar category
•· Gnosis Chocolate (Chocolate-Maker / Manufacturer & Chocolatier): 50Best.com Best of Raw VegNews Magazine Top 10 Chocolatiers (by Dessert Professional Mag)
•· Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates (Chocolatier): * 2011 U.S. Chamber of Commerce South/Southwest Regional Finalist Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award *2011 Death by Chocolate Best Confection * 2010 U.S. Chamber of Commerce South/Southwest Regional Finalist Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award *2010 Death by Chocolate Best Use of Chocolate * 2009 Constant Contact Email Marketing Star * 2009 Wichita American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year *2008 Death by Chocolate Chef Face-Off Winner *2007 Kansas Emerging Business of the Year
Many FCIA Members Are Green, Organic and Use Sustainable Materials!
· Elemental Chocolate sources cocoa beans directly from an Organic Co'op in Ecuador supported by a non-profit organization Great Wilderness whose mission is to conserve the Ecuadorian rainforest. We offset our carbon via Terrpass and source recyclable packaging.
•· lillie belle farms recycles and separates all refuse; all our power needs are supplied by wind turbine (Blue Sky Initiative), and we use only organic chocolate.
•· El Ceibo farmers grow their cocoa trees on 3 to 4 ha plots. Trees are cared for using organic standards and no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used. Farmers share knowledge about cocoa farming among each other to increase productivity and improve quality. El Ceibo’s technical staff is in charge of visiting farmers periodically. They provide technical advice and ensure that organic farming methods are observed. El Ceibo also promotes the incorporation of new organic cocoa farmers by promoting the increase of organic cocoa farming in a sustainable fashion and in harmony with the environment. Caring for the Farmers: PIAF - El Ceibo Foundation El Ceibo recently created a non-profit organization in Sapecho, PIAF - El Ceibo Foundation to serve its associates as well as non-associates
FCIA Members Support Their Communities and Source As Much As They Can Locally
•· French Broad Chocolate Lounge serves Asheville as a community gathering space. We regularly donate meeting/event space to non-profits, and regularly donate proceeds, and in-kind, for charitable organizations, including Manna Food Bank, YWCA, Asheville Area Arts Council, March of Dimes, Slow Food Asheville, Vance Elementary School, LEAF International, and so on. We are members of Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, through which we raise funds for culinary school scholarships.
•· B.T. McElrath Chocolatier contributes to local charities with an emphasis on women's health, children, at-risk families, elderly, and animal welfare, through product donations for fund-raising events. In addition, we participate in or sponsor fund-raising events, including Susan G. Komen Twin Cities Race for the Cure, TPT (Twin Cities Public Television), Minnesota Public Radio, and the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.
Protecting Fine Flavor Cacao through Species Identification & Preservation
Consumers all over the world have enjoyed the increasing availability of fine chocolate, whether bar or bon bon. The FCIA and the USDA ARS participated in a test to identify fine flavor cacao populations… the cacao from which the fine chocolate industry draws its raw material. At the FCIA’s Summer Meeting 2011, results of the test’s samplings in Madagascar were released. Two pure Ancient Criollo samples – a highly prized cacao variety because of its complex, fruity flavor – were identified. Ancient Criollo, defined and analyzed by Motamayor et al (2002), “consisted of trees sampled from places where gene flow between Criollo and Trinitario or Forastero trees was absent or limited because of the low likelihood of introductions of Trinitario or Forastero material.” “These very exciting findings have given our members – indeed chocolate lovers everywhere – renewed optimism that we will be able to identify and protect species of fine flavor cacao for generations to come. The FCIA continues to support initiatives to preserve fine flavor cacao and the growers who cultivate these precious gifts,” said Joan Vieweger, co-founder Choclatique.
Out of this work was born the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP), a partnership between the FCIA and the USDA/ARS that is tasked with: identifying the finest flavor cacaos which become the most flavorful chocolate in the world; linking their flavor to genetics for natural reproduction rather than GMO; preserving and propagating them now and for future generations and recognizing and rewarding the growers who cultivate them. Click here to learn more about the HCP.
For more information about the FCIA, its members, issues and upcoming events,
please contact our Association Manager at email@example.com