Calendar of Events - Fine Chocolate Industry Association
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In celebration of Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund's tenth anniversary, they are auctioning off a once-in-a-lifetime lot of beans from the farm of Felix Paredes, the Grand Cru of Alto Beni beans. Felix has been farming cacao in the Alto Beni for 60 years. His beans were part of the mix for our HCP #1 designation, but this new lot is 100% from the Paredes farm. “When I saw his trees full of colorful cacao pods,” says Volker, “I knew he was the one to make a very special HCP#1 batch for the 10th anniversary.”

The beans were box-fermented for five days, mixed once per day, and dried in three stages: first with warm air in a stainless-steel flatbed dryer, then rested for two days in open bags in a greenhouse, then finished for two half days in direct sun. The result is perfection. “I believe this is one of the best batches I’ve ever made,” says Volker.

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Times and dates are on the website.

Understanding the Surge: Cocoa Price Trends and Implications for the Fine Chocolate Value ChainWe are in a historic era for the cocoa industry, with prices hitting record highs and supply at record lows. Come join our fireside chat style webinar to hear value chain experts share what they are seeing and experiencing now, what the challenges are, and where opportunities may exist within these shifts. 

Hosted by: Emily Stone, FCIA Board Member from Uncommon Cacao
  • Kate Cavallin from Cacao Latitudes
  • Aline Etlicher from PISA Haiti
  • Ama Mogyabun from TCHO
  • Laura Sweitzer from TCHO

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12:00pm to 1:00pm

Do you enjoy collaborating in business? Want new stress management tools? Ready to make new friends in our FCIA community?

Then set your intention to Be Connected during our 1-hour Chocolate Mindfulness™ Wellness Workshop. Feel grounded during the body scan, focusing on the areas of your body that feel comfortable. Enjoy a chocolate tasting using all your senses to savor the sounds, aroma, and taste of your company's chocolate. We look forward to seeing you on March 21st from 12:00pm-1:00pm ET. The workshop wraps up with micro gratitude journaling. We recognize the amazing value each of you brings to FCIA. Take a moment to allow FCIA to show you appreciation.

Melissa Mueller-Douglas

Melissa is a mindfulness expert, licensed master social worker, volleyball player, world traveler, and a person you can't catch imposter syndrome from because she doesn't have it. She's learned that keeping busy isn't enough. We need to practice mindfulness to achieve success.

As CEO of MYRetreat, she works as a catalyst to create the environment for genuine team building through chocolate not trust falls. She works with groups at entities including RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), SCORE National, and American Express.

Register Here!

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3/21/202412:00pm to 1:00pm

Visit to register for this webinar.

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3/26/202411:00am to 12:00pm

14th Annual Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest

APRIL 6-7, 2024 | 10AM - 5PM

Expo New Mexico | Albuquerque, NM

With 200 vendors, 6 stages, 250,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor facilities, and attracting over 23,000 attendees, this is the world's largest, and most delicious, festival dedicated to chocolate, coffee, and gourmet foods.

Come discover exquisite chocolates, coffees, candies, baked goods and so much more.

Enjoy intimate tasting sessions, hands-on classes, seminars by baristas and bakers, and incredible live music.

More Information and Buy Tickets 

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10:00am to 5:00pm

The 16th Annual San Francisco CHOCOLATE SALON
is now officially scheduled for April 7, 2024, from 11am-5pm. 

Where: San Francisco County Fair Building

Hall of Flowers

Golden Gate Park

1199 9th Ave at Lincoln Way

San Francisco, CA 94122


Adults Tickets:

$20 Motivated Early Bird thru January 31st

$25 Advance Tickets

*No Tickets at Door 
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The original and premier artisan chocolate show on the West Coast takes place this Spring at the 16th Annual San Francisco International CHOCOLATE SALON, in San Francisco. Chocolate aficionados, fanatics, buyers and journalists can experience the finest in artisan, gourmet & premium chocolate in one of the world's great culinary metropolitan areas.

Featuring a delicious selection chosen and curated by the Organizers, the Annual International CHOCOLATE SALON participants have included master chocolatiers, confectioners, and other culinary artisans.

Salon highlights feature chocolate tasting, demonstrations, chef & author talks, and ongoing interviews by TasteTV's Chocolate Television program. (Salon Entry includes all chocolate tastings, demos, etc.). The is the international chocolate festival not to miss!

Supporting and Advancing Small Businesses and Culinary Entrepreneurs since 2007

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4/7/202411:00am to 5:00pm

The World Cocoa Conference is the leading event for the global cocoa and chocolate sector, bringing together all the stakeholders of the cocoa value chain – governments, cocoa farmers, cooperatives, exporters, traders, manufacturers, brands, retailers, financial institutions, logistics companies, international aid and development agencies, academics, etc. from across the world to exchange views and identify solutions for the sustainability of the sector.

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The schedule is available on their website

Sample and shop our marketplace of world-class artisans, attend lectures, taste at pairing classes, and more. The finest chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and industry experts are sharing their products and their love of quality chocolate.

Learn more & buy tickets

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The schedule is available on their website

Who is this for: Current and prospective craft and industrial chocolate makers, with technical and non-technical inclinations

What you will learn: During 5 days of vital theoretical and practical lessons you'll learn...
  1. All about post-harvest cacao processing at origin and why it really matters
  2. How ingredient choices impact your chocolate formulation, and how to assess them
  3. How equipment choices impact chocolate characteristics, and what options are available
  4. How specific processing choices impact the sensory experience of your chocolate
  5. Hands-on experience with the full gamut of chocolate processing
  6. Tasting sessions and feedback for all levels of cacao processing
  7. Networking with fellow professionals and instructors to build a foundation for future support of your company
  8. The business of chocolate, product packaging, food safety, and much more
Our Instructors: With over 100 combined years of scientific and technical experience in working with cacao & chocolate making, the Penn State Chocolate Short Course instructors include:
  • Sarah Bharath, Cacao Quality Consultant for Meridian Cacao;
  • Greg D’Alesandre, Co-founder and Cacao Sourcerer Dandelion Chocolate;
  • Lorenzo Datei, Packint Chocolate Machines & Tecnochoc;
  • Dr. Alan McClure, Founder Patric Chocolate & Patric Development;
  • Dr. Abby Snyder, Cornell University, and faculty from Penn State University with its deep history in cacao and chocolate research.  
See Penn State’s Cacao and Chocolate Research Network.

Register for the Penn State Chocolate Short Course.

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More information is available on their website.

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