The winners of the 2019 International Cocoa Award have been announced!  The Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) Fund and the Cocoa of Excellence Programme are partners in celebrating fine flavor cacao throughout the world, and highlighting its importance for the preservation of our future chocolate supply.

HCP would like give a special congratulations to Ed Seguine, Chair of the Cocoa of Excellence Programme Technical Committee and Chair of the HCP Tasting Panel, in carrying out the detailed assessment of the large number of 2019 submissions.

HCP would also like to congratulate its Board Member, John Kehoe, Guittard Chocolate and Advisory Counsel member, Darin Sukha, Cocoa Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, both members of the Cocoa of Excellence Programme Technical Committee.

Congratulations to the 2019 International Cocoa Award Winners!


SALON DU CHOCOLAT, PARIS, FRANCE (30 October 2019) – Following a selection and evaluation process of 223 cocoa samples submitted from 55 countries, 50 entrants shortlisted for the 2019 Edition of the International Cocoa Awards waited with anticipation to hear the results. Read on to find out who the 20 winners are and why these awards matter for the future of our chocolate supply.

On 30 October during an exclusive evening ceremony attended by over 500 cocoa and chocolate professionals, the 20 International Cocoa Award winners were celebrated at the Salon du Chocolat, Paris, shining the international spotlight on the work of cocoa farmers, and the diversity of cocoa around the world. Every two years, the Cocoa of Excellence (CoEx) Programme spearheaded by Bioversity International (now the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT) and Salon du Chocolat recognizes quality, flavour and diversity of cocoas according to their origin. Cocoa diversity is vital for production, as it provides the different flavours, resistance to pests and diseases, and resilience in climate changes. Providing incentives for safeguarding cocoa diversity to farmers and national organizations ensures a portfolio of options remain available for the future.

The most remarkable evolution of the Cocoa of Excellence Programme is the enthusiasm of the cocoa producing countries to participate in greater numbers every edition. We started this great adventure in 2009 with 20 countries and today we have 55 countries and hope that at the next Edition in 2021 we will reach 70. We are entering a new era for cacao that makes us discover all the potential and the pleasures that its genetic diversity, its environment, its culture, and the know-how of all these women and men that grow cocoa and upon which their prosperity depends”. Brigitte Laliberté, Cocoa of Excellence Programme Coordinator, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.

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