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FCIA Member Happenings

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  • May 17, 2019 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NEW YORK, NY -- Fine food professionals from around the globe and across industries will convene in New York City on June 22 to celebrate the growing fine chocolate industry at Elevate Chocolate Summer 2019.

    The event is hosted by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), the only organization focused 100% on supporting fine chocolate professionals.

    The theme of the Summer 2019 event is Foundation for the Future in Fine Chocolate.

    A few of the scheduled highlights for the semi-annual, one-day event:

    • Nine morning workshops covering value chains and quality standards, innovative product development, and communications and market research
    • Three specialist afternoon huddles, for chocolatiers, chocolate makers, and pastry chefs
    • Two engaging afternoon panels: “Future Foundations for Fine Chocolate Demand” and “Future Foundations for Fine Cocoa Supply: MOCCA Program Announcement”
    • Gallery Showcase and Partnership Exhibit featuring value-chain exhibitors and partners
    • Latest updates from Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund
    • FCIA Recognition of Excellence Awards (bi-annual awards)
    • A unique live chocolate sculpting exhibition by renowned chocolatier Paul Joachim from The Chocolate Genius
    • And the ever-popular Chocolate Makers Tasting Table and new Chocolatier Tasting Table

    The plenary discussion in the afternoon will feature a discussion of the cocoa component of the MOCCA initiative, a five-year project assisting small-scale coffee and cocoa farmers in six Latin American countries. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Food for Progress Program and implemented with principal partner TechnoServe, the MOCCA initiative will build the key agricultural sectors of coffee and cocoa in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Peru, directly improving the livelihoods of over 120,000 farmers.

    “Elevate Chocolate provides our members and everyone in the fine chocolate industry with the opportunities to connect and strengthen not only our own businesses and organizations, but the sustainability of the industry as a whole,” said Clark Guittard of Guittard Chocolate Company, President of the FCIA Board of Directors. “Consumers increasingly recognize and appreciate the value of fine chocolate, and their growing demand can be met only through ongoing improvements in quality cacao supply from around the world.”

    The Elevate Chocolate event continues to grow along with the FCIA and the fine chocolate industry as a whole. Nearly 300 member companies and organizations are expected to attend, including growers and producers, chocolate makers and chocolatiers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, chefs, communicators, retailers and wholesalers, and other purveyors of fine chocolate. Throughout the day, attendees will have myriad opportunities to exchange insights and information, building their businesses and working to raise the profile of fine cacao and chocolate among a larger audience.


  • May 14, 2019 2:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Another Five Star Bar® is Born!

    Lake Champlain Chocolates Introduces the Almond Five Star Bar® at Sweets and Snacks Expo Booth #1799

     

     

     

    BURLINGTON, VT: Say hello to the Almond Five Star Bar®, the newest member of Lake Champlain Chocolates’ best-selling Five Star Bar® line. This new bar is the ultimate treat for almond lovers with smooth almond butter surrounding roasted almonds and crispy quinoa, all wrapped in dark chocolate. 

    “While indulgence is still a huge driver for chocolate purchasers, consumers are looking for better-for-you options,” says Allyson Myers, Director of Sales and Marketing for Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC). “Using plant-based inclusions like almonds and quinoa appeals to consumers’ desire for indulgence paired with healthier ingredients. With a total of 16 almonds (7 grams of protein) packed into this chunky bar, it delivers on flavor, protein, a salty-sweet crunch, and rich texture to satiate the most discerning sweet tooth.”  

    According to Innova Market Insights, almonds and almond butter are key trends in the chocolate industry right now, providing products with interesting textures, premium positioning, higher protein, and indulgent flavor profiles while using less sugar.

    The Almond Five Star Bar® rounds out the line that now includes seven irresistibly delicious flavors: Almond, Caramel, Hazelnut, Peanut, Granola, Fruit & Nut, and Chocolate Caramel.  The Five Star Bars® are still handcrafted in small batches from only the best Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients at LCC’s Burlington, Vermont factory.

    “We continue to see the conscious consumerism trend grow as individuals seek to express their values through their purchasing decisions,” says Myers.  “Choosing Fair Trade Certified™ products resonates with these consumers and we’re proud to offer this certification for one of our best-selling lines.”

    Taste the new Almond Five star Bar® and see the full line at the Sweets and Snacks Expo, Booth#1799, Chicago, Illinois, May 21-23.   LCC will be hosting a Five Star Breakfast at the show on May 22.  Stop by for a healthy start to the day and meet the new Five Star Bar! The Almond Five Star Bar® has an SRP of $4.00.

    All of Lake Champlain Chocolates’ products are Kosher-certified, free of preservatives, additives and use non-GMO and fair trade certified ingredients. For more about the Vermont chocolate maker, visit www.lakechamplainchocolates.com.

     

  • May 09, 2019 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Over the past few years, FCIA member, CocoTerra (based in Palo Alto, CA) has been quietly working on building the world’s first tabletop chocolate maker, integrating grinding, refining, conching, tempering and molding in one appliance about the size of a typical bread machine or Cuisinart food processor. Starting from nibs, the CocoTerra chocolate maker will produce approximately half a pound of solid chocolate in about two hours! CocoTerra has just started to reveal details of this machine on its web site, https://www.cocoterra.com/.

    The machine is not yet in production, but you can stay up to date on CocoTerra’s progress by subscribing to its newsletters, and following the company on Facebook or Twitter @CocoTerraCo. This is an exciting development for chocolate lovers, craft makers, and farmers alike.


  • May 08, 2019 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
        Please, see attached the link to purchase a recent publication called "Cacao: The Craft Chocolate Magazine." The magazine follows the bean to bar sequence, taking the reader on a journey from the farm to the final product by showcasing stories from all aspects of the chocolate making process. FCIA member Antonella Tromba of Foodensity and Daisy Hill—on behalf of Enliven Cacao—have featured articles in section "BAR" and "BEAN" respectively.  (Photographs 2 and 3 are credited to Lilla Toth-Tatai.) We hope you enjoy it!



  • May 01, 2019 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCIA Private Sector Liaison for the MOCCA Cocoa Project

    LOCATION: Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru or Ecuador

    EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-Time Consultant

    SUPERVISORY: None

    REPORTING TO: FCIA Executive Director (in USA)

    FUNDING: Level of effort not to exceed $20,000/year. Travel budget is separate

    COUNTERPARTS: Regional Director (Latin America) Deputy Director, Cacao Production & Marketing (Latin America) Manager of Donations and Management Models (Latin America) Six Country Cocoa Managers (Latin America)

    TRAVEL: Limited

    For all of the details, see the attached announcement.

  • April 22, 2019 2:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCIA member, Paul Joachim, creates amazing chocolate sculptures. Check out a recent sculpture of the Eiffel Tower that was featured on Italian television. Paul will be creating an amazing sculpture at the upcoming FCIA Summer Elevate Chocolate Event on June 22, 2019 in New York City. Join us, register now for the event.

  • April 17, 2019 10:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mark Harman

    Chocolate is fickle, frustrating, challenging, and, on its best days, loads of fun. FCIA is the community I turn to for help. It's where I can network with, and learn from, chocolate professionals (often industry luminaries) who are as passionate as I am about the subtleties of flavor chocolate(s) and the quality/equity of the supply chain that enables us to create it.

    Still a young organization, FCIA has grown into a key resource for chocolate professionals. With your help, expect FCIA to become even more influential as the “go-to” expert resource for media and consumers as well. I am very proud to have been elected to the FCIA Board of Directors this year, working with a dynamic team of industry leaders and professional staff.

    Mesocacao logoMesocacao makes chocolate couverture in Central America for US & Canadian markets.



  • April 17, 2019 9:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    KANY Corporation logoFormed in 1987, KANY Corporation is a U.S.-based and Ghanaian family-owned company with the corporate mission of advancing and adding value to Ghana’s most treasured commodity: cocoa. We made the decision to join FCIA last year, and recently upgraded our membership to the Corporate Level. KANY is excited to be a part of the fine chocolate movement through FCIA and participating in events and programs.

    The company specializes in the supply of premium cocoa beans and related cocoa products, which include cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. With customers ranging from artisanal bean-to-bar companies and craft chocolate makers to bakeries and multinational processors, KANY reliably sources and supplies both conventional and organic beans and products adhering to international food and safety standards.

    Full transparency, environmental stewardship, and equitable practices are pillars of the KANY platform. The company has strategically partnered with farmer-owned cooperatives dedicated to further Ghana’s heritage as producing the finest quality cocoa in the world. These relationships allow KANY to ensure its cocoa beans and products are sustainably sourced and that the smallholder farmers (the most important link of the supply chain) are more than adequately compensated for their hard work.


    Kofi Boakye of KANY Corporation
    Kofi Boakye, Business Development Manager of KANY Corporation

    KANY offers beans and products that are Fairtrade, UTZ/Rainforest, USDA Organic, JAS Organic, Halal, Kosher certified.

    For more information on KANY and/or to request product samples, please reach out to Kofi Boakye, Business Development Manager, kofiboakye@kanycorp.com.

    If you are an FCIA member interested to have company featured in the FCIA Newsletter please contact Bill Guyton.


  • April 17, 2019 9:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bill GuytonBy Bill Guyton, Executive Director

    One of the questions I am asked most often at FCIA is, “How do you define fine chocolate?” As the only organization 100 percent devoted to the promotion fine chocolate, FCIA needed common language to define our important segment of the chocolate industry.

    In early 2019, FCIA’s board of directors, assisted by the communications committee, addressed this challenge by adopting new language on fine chocolate.

    Fine Chocolate Definition

    Fine chocolate is defined in terms of its flavor, texture and appearance, as well as how its limited ingredients, high cocoa and low sugar content, are sourced and processed.

    Sensory: Fine chocolate makers are committed to coaxing the unique flavors from each bean, allowing the consumer to experience complex flavors from the terroir of various regions and countries. Textures should be smooth and creamy, unless purposely creating unrefined chocolate.

    Visual: Fine chocolate professionals are committed to creating stunning visual experiences through perfectly finished products which are often artfully designed.

    Processed: Fine chocolate makers and chocolatiers use artisan methods to create minimally processed chocolate with flavor complexity.

    Sourcing: With a commitment to the farmer, fine chocolate makers use ethical practices to source the highest quality flavor beans and cocoa, often from single countries of origin and individual growers.

    U.S. Consumer Perceptions, Buying Patterns, Views on Fine Chocolate: New Survey Results

    Although fine chocolate represents 5 percent or less of chocolate market sales, it has one of the fastest growth segments of the industry. In 2019, FCIA in partnership with the National Confectioners Association (NCA), completed an extensive survey of over 1,500 U.S. consumers to better understand their perceptions of buying habits.

    I will be co-presenting the “Getting to Know the Chocolate Consumer” survey on May 22, 2109 at the Sweets and Snack Expo in Chicago, as well as on June 22 during the FCIA Membership Assembly in New York City. FCIA members are invited to view the findings in advance in our “members only” section of the FCIA website

    Embracing Our Diverse Membership

    FCIA members lead the industry in innovations, passion, and producing amazing, quality chocolate products. Our membership is made up of fine flavor cacao growers and producers; chocolate makers; chocolatiers; suppliers of ingredients, packaging, equipment and services of fine quality products; pastry chefs; marketers, writers, bloggers and educators; specialty retailers, wholesalers, festivals, and niche purveyors of fine chocolate. This diversity is one of our strengths, yet it also presents us with one of our challenges: how to meet the needs of such a varied group.

    During our Elevate Chocolate Summer 2019 event on June 22, 2019, we have several approaches to serving this diversity. We will hold chocolate maker, chocolatier, and pastry chef “huddles” to gain better insights on the priorities from our members. We will also feature both “chocolate maker” and “chocolatier” sampling tables during the Gallery Showcase from 5-7:30pm of the event. No matter what part of the fine chocolate spectrum you are in, you will not want to miss this one-day event!

    FCIA also recently re-launched chocolate maker and chocolatier forums on our “members only” section of the website to allow a free exchange of ideas tailored to the needs of different segments of our membership.

    We are proud to be able to represent and serve such a wide array of members, and we look forward to continuing to find new opportunities to support the efforts of all who inhabit the world of fine chocolate.


  • April 09, 2019 2:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cocoa360 is a community-based organization in Ghana that uses proceeds from cocoa farms to run health clinic and tuition-free school for girls. It has had a significant impact on the local community. Read the full article here.

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Executive Director: Bill Guyton / 1.206.577.9983 / Email Bill

Event Manager: Nicole Price / 1.312.953.4541 / Email Nicole

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