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Over 20 years has passed since multinational chocolate companies signed the Harkin-Engle protocol, pledging to eradicate child labor in their supply chains. Today, the problem persists, despite significant investments. Why has progress been so limited and taken so long? Are there any "missing links" in industry conversations and remediation efforts? Join FCIA for a discussion with leading child labor experts and contemporary cocoa farmers, moderated by Dr. Kristy Leissle. Our featured panelists are Kwabena Assan Mends, founder of Emfed Farms, Dr Amanda Berlan, a social anthropologist by training, with a particular focus on cocoa and the chocolate industry and Leonard Agyemen, a PhD candidate at the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture in Akropong-Akuapem.

In the second of the FCIA Fine Chocolate Glossary debate-style webinars, you will have a chance to hear once again from the experts: leading agroforestry practitioners, and experienced professionals whose knowledge has guided the application of agroforestry for cocoa farmers worldwide.

Panelists Include:

These experts will engage in live debate over the meanings of agroforestry-related terms. In doing so, they will model the type of professional debate and meaning-generation that the FCIA is incorporating into the soon-to-be-launched Fine Chocolate Glossary.

After our panelists reach their consensus (or not!) on the meanings of these important terms, audience members will have a chance to ask these leading agroforestry experts their questions.



Over a decade ago, Hershey acquired three specialty chocolate companies in a bid to expand their reach to the fine chocolate segment of the market. Speaker Susie Picken was involved with Dagoba and Scharffenberger brands and will share the challenges they face as the parent organization shifts its focus to becoming a "snacking powerhouse" Surprise webinar attendee, John Scharffenberger joins the conversation towards the end of the webinar to provide additional commentary.
Join FCIA and Anne Boulley, aka “Artisanne Chocolatier” for a demo featuring the top 5 baked goods using chocolate as the main flavor/ingredient. Every chocolate shop, chocolatier or chocolate maker should have their special “signature” chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookie, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate macaron and chocolate brownie. People expect it and know that yours will be better than anyone else’s. Learn some great baking tips and hacks to produce outstanding chocolate baked goods for your business to complement your wonderful chocolate bonbons and other creations. Anne worked as a pastry chef and caterer long before becoming a chocolatier and will share two of her favorite recipes that are adaptable, efficient as well as tried and true. Anne became an ambassador for Conexion Chocolate and also teaches others how to master the art of being a chocolatier.
Join Bill Guyton as he moderates a panel of FCIA member companies that are also Certified B Corpoarations. Panelists will explore how and why their companies were seeking B-Corp status and how that has helped their businesses. Each speaker will share their experiences and offer advice to the audience.
Learn how fine chocolate can foster local business collaboration ( community building, ensuring great quality, keeping our dollars local, supporting local farmers/makers). Hear from FCIA member Jody Hayden owner of Grocers' Daughter Chocolate, offering beer and spirit infused bonbons along with Tina Schuett of Rare Bird Brewpub who brews several chocolate inspired beers and Sarah Anderson of Iron Fish Distillery which incorporates chocolate and cocoa in its cocktails as well spirit pairings.
Join Burlap & Barrel co-founder Ori Zohar as he shares tips and tricks for going from zero to $1 million in eCommerce sales. Burlap & Barrel is a social enterprise that sources incredibly flavorful single origin spices directly from smallholder farmers around the world. During the pandemic, their business shifted from primarily working with restaurants and grocery stores to providing home cooks with spices through their website, while significantly growing. There isn't a silver bullet, but Ori will share: -How to really listen to and connect with your customers -How to build a high converting eCommerce site -How to find customers without advertising
Join co-founders of the International Chocolate Awards Maricel Presilla and Martin Christy for a presentation on cacao traceability for chocolatiers. For 2021-22 the International Chocolate Awards (ICA) has relaunched their filled chocolate competitions as “Craft Chocolatier Competitions”, to celebrate and champion the chocolate makers and companies using cacao with an identifiable and traceable source. Chocolatier, Isabel Garcia Nevett will join to share her experience as a participant, along with Denise Castronovo of Castronovo Chocolate. ICA will now only accept dark and milk chocolate in any category with a declared and traceable source for the cacao. Couverture and blends are still acceptable, provided that the source of each cacao used is also declared. The sourcing information can either be public or declared in confidence with the Awards. (Note: this rule does not currently apply to white chocolate or cocoa butter). This change brings the chocolatier entries inline with bean-to-bar competitions, which celebrate and support the work of the growers, chocolate makers and all the supporting industries working to produce the world’s best chocolate products.
Join us for a 1 hour webinar on fun uses of chocolate in frozen desserts. PreGel Chefs will demonstrate the production of gelato, gelato panini, a decadent milkshake, and trendy paleta. Learn about some inviting menu options that can drive traffic to your business in the summer season.
How do we communicate the differences between Specialty and Bulk Chocolate? The Value Chain Committee has been working toward a common language in traceability and transparency for FCIA members. Join Simran Bindra of Kokoa Kamili, Monica Rogan of Goodnow Farms, and Kate Cavallin of Cacao Latitudes, as they share the Traceability and Transparency working groups efforts. Learn about the common terms developed to better define actions and efforts within the industry; our initial framework for measuring responsibility and the draft assessment; and preliminary results to help the industry and members understand their efforts in this area. Our goal is to provide members a responsible business tool as well as provide an opportunity for stronger industry communication using the information collected.
Nothing is more heartbreaking to know you sourced prized cacao beans, roasted them to perfection, and crafted amazing chocolate, only to find out it melted in transit. The pandemic has shifted chocolate sales from in person to online and many had to scramble to find solutions. Warm temperatures, delivery delays and costs are just some of the challenges faced by business owners. In this webinar an industry expert on perishable shipping will share strategies for how to properly pack your chocolates and select the best options to ensure you keep costs down and customers happy.
Join FCIA members and industry experts for a demonstration and discussion of different tempering techniques. Thalia Hohenthal, Manager, Technical Services for Guittard will kick things off with an overview and then Kerry Beal of EZtemper and Brian Donaghy of Tomric demonstrate different tempering methods and discuss the benefits of each type. This will be an interactive session so bring your questions. Link to the chocolate tempering machineThalia showed:
L’ecole Valrhona Brooklyn Chef Sarah Tibbetts will demonstrate two techniques for chocolate cremeux and give options on how to incorporate into several serving options, including a plated dessert and verrine. Joined by her six year old daughter, Virginia “The Little Chef”, Chef Tibbetts will offer insight on the younger generation of aspiring chefs and variations you can impart whether you are in a home or professional kitchen.
Panelists will discuss the unique flavors from different origins in Africa and the supply chain programs their companies are currently undertaking to support farmers and quality production in various origins. Participants will be able to ask questions during and in advance of the session.
Chef Charity George – known as The Sugar Sorceress – is a pastry chef and cake artist in San Diego, CA. She specializes in chocolate and sugar art, with particular regard for wedding cakes, as well as specialty and extreme cakes. She has also specialized in baking and cooking for those with food allergies and sensitivities. Charity is the “secret chef” on the extremely popular Netflix show Nailed It! – she’s the pro who creates all of the cakes that the competitors then have to replicate. Charity owns d’Zrt Cake Studio in La Mesa, CA. Chef Charity created a supplemental video that explains what she did in more detail.
Brian Donaghy of Tomric demonstrates different methods of using colored cocoa butter on products.
While likes and shares may feel good, many companies fall into the trap of solely measuring vanity metrics. Yet, a revenue-focused social media strategy has the potential to add real dollars to the bottom line. In this webinar, Shawn Wenner, Owner of Pastry Arts Magazine, will share Facebook and Instagram techniques and strategies – both organic and paid – that can turn your social media accounts into viable sales channels.
Join Meg Ray of Miette Patisserie & Confiserie for a demonstration of her process of creating California's version of the Parisian Macaron, using Guittard Chocolate. Walk through the process of making them with Meg. During this fun and informative webinar, you'll learn: Technique The equipment used to craft the Macarons The flavors used, and why they are "California Style"

How does a Mexican chocolate maker, Cuna de Piedra, committed to the Slow Food movement end up in a fast food restaurant? Why did two young professionals with backgrounds in food engineering and design, use fine chocolate as a means to honor their cultural heritage?  

Una charla y clase teórica en la que hablaremos como funciona la pre cristalización y cristalización del chocolate, desmitificando conceptos y explicando el porqué de las cosas y sos ingredientes.
Following on from the first session focused on building and implementing a digital marketing strategy, we have invited digital marketing experts to present their area of expertise and offer participants a FCIA member only deal on their software or services. Meet the Experts Jonathan Naccache - Co-Founder & President at Webistry (Conversion-optimized and data-focused digital campaigns). Gabe Macaluso - Director of Customer Success at Omnisend (Ecommerce Marketing Automation) Jarrod Morris - CEO and Co-founder at LEAP who make Evidence (Digital Marketers and Software Makers) Experts will cover the following topics: - Setting up and managing Google or Facebook ad campaigns - Designing landing pages optimized for conversion - Driving first time and repeat purchase through personalized marketing automation - The power of social proof tools to convert visitors to customers
Where does our inspiration come from? For Chef Susan Notter, the demos she shares during this webinar are inspired by her work in culinary competitions and as the U.S. representative of Felchlin Chocolate. Her illustrious 30 year career includes running a culinary school, television shows and coaching the U.S. Pastry Olympic team. Susan will be demonstrating and explaining chocolate products to exemplify ideas dictated by consumer trends and the needs of the current virtual market place.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance funds will be made available within days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has graciously agreed to speak with FCIA members regarding these programs and application processes. We welcome Kathy Cook, Public Affairs Specialist for Field Operations in the East, and David Hincapie, Economic Development Specialist for the Washington Metropolitan Area District Office , who will lead the conversation. They will provide a brief overview of the programs and then answer your specific questions.


The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, with cannabis sales projected to reach more than $22 billion this year! Already, 17 states have legalized cannabis for adults 21+ and 37 states have approved cannabis for medical use. It is no wonder that people from all industries are looking for a way to participate in this new and exciting trend.

Join Emma Rose, of Rosie's Confections, in exploring the relationship between chocolate and cannabis. These two amazing plants share amazing traits such as a diversity of flavonoids, terpenes and even endocannabinoids. With edibles being an increasingly popular way of consuming cannabis, Emma is here to share with you her knowledge of different cannabis extracts, infusion techniques, best-practices for manufacturing chocolate edibles as well as regulations seen in different states/markets.

Join co-lead researchers Manuela Hoehn-Weiss and Emily Pahnke as they highlight the findings from a business survey completed in August 2021 by Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and FCIA. This marks the third time we conducted the business survey and obtained responses from company respondents involved in the trade, manufacturing, and sales of fine chocolate products in the US and abroad, allowing us to analyze trends over time. Findings provide important insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by FCIA members and suggest initiatives to improve member experiences. November 12, 2021
Meet the FCIA board members and staff, learn about how to maximize your benefits, and ask questions or offer suggestions to the FCIA leadership. We will be highlighting several new initiatives this year, including Chocolate Break/Giveaway, upgraded FCIA website, expanded member discount program. Featured speakers will include Brad Kintzer, Lauren Adler, Daniel Domingo, Bill Guyton, Ephi Maglaris, and more. Registration is required. This event is free of charge.

Have you ever been confused by industry terms used to describe fine chocolate and the value chain?  How can your company better communicate fine chocolate and your supply chain to consumers?  Can we begin as an industry to agree on a common language?  

 Join Kate Cavallin and Dr. Kristy Leissle on May 19th as they lead a 75 minute presentation, supported by FCIA company members and outside experts, to address these questions.  They will share an extensive glossary of terms, vetted by industry and outside experts, in an important step to adapt a common language for fine chocolate.   

During this session, Kate Cavallin will present an overview of the Cocoa Ecosystem Initiative: Why is this important to your company and how can it be used?  

 There will also be an Expert Panel Review of Glossary of Terms.

FCIA member company Amore di Mona has made a name for itself providing allergen free fine chocolates and confections. Find out the safety protocols and testing procedures required to ensure the safety of your customers from owner Mona Chagaris. She will be joined by Anita Roach from Food Allergy Research and Education who will discuss the size of the population impacted by food allergies and a food labeling consultant.
Mikkel Friis-Holm and Lee Theisen, PhD will explore how fine chocolate and craft beer work together.
Learn about Taiwanese cacao and Asian chocolate consumers.
Brian will discuss what is a ganache and then show different methods for putting together a ganache for different applications. He will complete a finished mould praline and cast ganache in a frame for a cut application.
In 2019, Conexión Chocolate Founder & CEO Jenny Samaniego created the Cacao & Chocolate Summit in Ecuador with the vision to bring cacao growers into the conversation. Long excluded from the public stage, cacao farmers are the foundation of the fine chocolate industry, and yet they have historically been left out of the spotlight. Jenny, a native of Ecuador, spearheaded the Cacao & Chocolate Summit to bring all the players in the industry together, leaving nobody out of the discussion. Listen in as we talk about this game-changing Summit to be held on Zoom on May 25th and 26th!
Join HCP Executive Director, Anne Zacek as leads a conversation on how tell the story of heirloom cacao to educate consumers and raise awareness of the beans, regions, and farmers. The panelists bring diverse perspectives that span from the farm to retail shelf.
If you dream of leading your own chocolate tastings or demos but struggle to create an engaging presentation, this webinar is for YOU. Estelle Tracy of 37 Chocolates will share how she went from hosting in person tasting classes to offering online classes for her clients. Jody Hayden of Grocer's Daughter Chocolate will show how to demo products and offer an interactive experience with drinking chocolates
The Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI) has launched an updated 10-minute survey to gain more insight into the evolving impact of Covid-19 on the fine cacao and chocolate industry.
In the second installment of FCIA’s webinar series on Latin American women leaders, we will focus on women as small cacao farm owners in two important cacao-producing regions of the Americas: Monte Plata in the Dominican Republic and the Peruvian Amazon. Learn about the geographic and historic matrix that shaped each of these remarkable women: María Virgen Almonte, La Mina (Yamasá, Monte Plata), a cacao farmer, community and environmental leader; Luz Jungbluth of Nina Chocolate, Chazuta (San Martin, Peru) a cacao farmer and chocolate maker Aylin Quinteros, President Asociación Mishky Cacao, Chazuta (San Martin, Peru) They will discuss challenges each faces, managing family and farming as independent operators or members of cooperatives or associations, and contributing to country branding as artisanal chocolate makers.
In the second installment of FCIA’s webinar series on Latin American women leaders, we will focus on women as small cacao farm owners in two important cacao-producing regions of the Americas: Monte Plata in the Dominican Republic and the Peruvian Amazon. Learn about the geographic and historic matrix that shaped each of these remarkable women: María Virgen Almonte, La Mina (Yamasá, Monte Plata), a cacao farmer, community and environmental leader; Luz Jungbluth of Nina Chocolate , Chazuta (San Martin, Peru) a cacao farmer and chocolate maker Aylin Quinteros, President Asociación Mishky Cacao, Chazuta (San Martin, Peru) They will discuss challenges each faces, managing family and farming as independent operators or members of cooperatives or associations, and contributing to country branding as artisanal chocolate makers.
Join chef, culinary historian and James Beard Award winning author Maricel Presilla for the launch of a series on women leaders in fine chocolate and cacao. Meet the remarkable women who are reshaping all aspects of the industry in Latin America and gaining visibility as chocolate makers, farmers, exporters, entrepreneurs and visionaries. Her guests are: ~ Ana Beatriz Parizot (Mexico) Wolter Chocolate ~ Lisi Montoya (Peru) Shattell Chocolate ~ Nadia Rizek (Dominican Republic) KahKow ~ Daisy Polanco (Dominican Republic) Rizek Cacao
Join Maricel Presilla, chef, culinary historian and James Beard Award winning author of Gran Cocina Latina and The New Taste of Chocolate, for an ongoing exploration of the multifaceted roles played by women in the expanding world of fine cacao and chocolate in Latin America. In the third installment of FCIA’s webinar series on Latin American women leaders, meet women who create bridges between North America and Latin America for the love of chocolate and learn from their accomplishments as well as the challenges they have faced while navigating between two worlds: Arcelia Gallardo of Mission Chocolate (US and Brazil) Of Mexican background and born in California, Arcelia has been working in chocolate for the last 18 years, gaining experience in the Bay Area as chocolatier in her own retail store in Berkeley and then as chocolate maker at Dandelion Chocolate, before opening Mission Chocolate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Arcelia’s goal is to create fine chocolate, work directly with farmers and cacao-growing communities, make ethical decisions in matters that impact the environment and employees, and always be unique Elfi Maldonado of Qantu Chocolate (Canada and Peru) Making exceptional chocolates in Montreal with her life partner Maxime Simard since 2016, Elfi takes pride in working directly with cacao farmers in her native Peru. She is not only interested in quality, but also pays close attention to the culture and traditions of the communities from which she sources heirloom cacao for her hands-on craft operation Barbara Wilson of Mindo Chocolate (US and Ecuador) Traveling regularly between Michigan and Ecuador where she sources cacao for her factory in Dexter and runs a café and chocolate factory in the small community of Mindo with her daughter Emily Meza-Wilson, keeps Barbara busy. But little can slow the fast bicultural pace of this former US- born Public Health Educator who has been making chocolate since 2008 while attending conferences and taking cacao and chocolate.
Chef Michael Laiskonis was KahKow's first Chocolate-Maker-in-Residency. He experimented with a Dominican Nacional profile, which is one of the first cacao recipes of the Rizek Historical Selection, a collection that celebrates the depth and excellence of Rizek Cacao. How did Michael decide which cacao to use, what did he learn in the process and is a guest collaboration a good fit for your brand? To taste the final result of this relationship that started 10 years ago at Rizek farm La Esmeralda visit: Kahkow - Nacional by Michael Laiskonis
Luker Chocolate is a Colombian enterprise that has over 100 years of experience in the chocolate market with a progressive approach to doing business that prioritizes quality, sustainability and transparency. In this webinar they will share their experience growing an international market for Colombian fine chocolates, while developing an integrated sustainable value chain at origin. Attendees will learn: The history of growing cocoa in Colombia The road towards fine chocolate The Chocolate Dream: sustainability objectives and key initiatives
A re-discovery/reintroduction of the cocoa giant that is the Caribbean twin-isle through the hands, stories, and imaginations of its newest agents and the broader fine chocolate community. Birthplace of the Trinitario bean notwithstanding, Trinidad & Tobago has been an important player in the global cocoa industry namely for its Cocoa Research Center expertise, International Cocoa Genebank and numerous producers of world-class cocoa. Join us in speaking with producer and exporter Ubergreen Organics; local chocolate-maker Isabel Brash of Cocobel Chocolate; and award-winning pastry chef and head of the NYC Institute of Culinary Education's Chocolate Lab, Chef Michael Laiskonis in understanding more about what's happening in and coming out of Trinidad. Discussions will cover farm-level and business development investments, storytelling using local ingredients, and bean analysis/beyond-the-bean thinking. Event Date: 12/2/2021
CocoTerra has developed the first fully-automated table-top chocolate maker. From dark to milk to white, users can create their own custom chocolate recipes and enjoy fresh chocolate to share with family and friends. No expertise required as users are guided through the entire process starting from cocoa nibs to solid chocolate in about two hours. The chocolate can be customized with a variety of flavorings, inclusions and decorations. Find out more at
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, join culinary historian, chef and cookbook author Maricel E. Presilla as she guides us step by step on making mole, the ultimate fusion sauce/stew of Mexico.
Cacao markets have seen a growing demand for differentiated, high-quality beans. Traders are paying premiums for the most sought-after varieties in Latin America for international, regional, and even local markets. This market for local cacao varieties may indeed be an opportunity for smallholders, their organizations, and local cacao processors as buyers seek out these local varieties conserved by smallholders, who make up 95% of Latin American cacao producers. Additionally, with consumers’ growing social awareness for sustainably and ethically produced chocolates, buyers have become more concerned not only about sourcing quality cacao and but also about supporting the rural communities that produce this. This changing market landscape provides opportunities for smallholders and cacao processors in Peru and Mexico, two countries well-known for growing of flavorful local cacao varieties. However, many challenges exist in both countries to further exploit these expanding markets for fine or flavor cacao. In this presentation, we compare the development of these expanding markets in Peru and Mexico and provide insights into what actions can be taken to ensure that smallholders and the businesses that support them can take full advantage of these market opportunities. ¿Cuál es el potencial de mercado de las variedades tradicionales de cacao? Una comparación de experiencias en Perú y México Los mercados del cacao han experimentado una creciente demanda de granos diferenciados de alta calidad. Los comerciantes están pagando primas por las variedades de América Latina para los mercados internacionales, regionales e incluso locales. Este mercado de variedades de cacao local puede ser una oportunidad para los pequeños agricultores, sus organizaciones y los procesadores de cacao locales, ya que los compradores buscan estas variedades locales cultivadas por los pequeños agricultores, que representan el 95% de los productores de cacao de América Latina. Además, con la creciente conciencia social de los consumidores por los chocolates producidos de manera sostenible y ética, los compradores se han preocupado más, no solo por obtener cacao de calidad sino también por apoyar a las comunidades rurales que lo producen. Este panorama cambiante del mercado ofrece oportunidades para los pequeños agricultores y procesadores de cacao en Perú y México, dos países bien conocidos por el cultivo de variedades de cacao local de alta calidad sensorial. Sin embargo, existen muchos desafíos en ambos países para explotar aún más estos mercados en expansión para el cacao fino de aroma. En esta presentación, comparamos el desarrollo de estos mercados en expansión en Perú y México y brindamos información sobre las acciones que se pueden tomar para garantizar que los pequeños agricultores y las empresas que los apoyan puedan aprovechar al máximo estas oportunidades de mercado.
In this interview with CRS, Grimaud explains how he grows fine flavor cacao, raising the plants in nurseries, then transplanting trees on his farm. The trees typically take up to five years to produce cocoa pods. Madagascar is the only African country that has obtained the fine cocoa label. The island-nation recently received gold and bronze medals in the 2021 Cocoa of Excellence for superior flavor. By producing fine-flavor criollo cocoa and spices like black pepper and vanilla, Grimaud is able to support his family and pay for his children's education. Grimaud is one of 2,000 farmers benefiting from the support of the TSIRO alliance. The public-private program supports Malagasy farmers and preserves biodiversity by planting 1.5 million trees and restoring wildlife habitat through the use of mixed agroforestry systems.
Get tips for successful online merchandising for the holidays from our panel of experts. We’ll cover a range of topics to help you prepare for the holidays including bundling products to maximize revenue, creating a merchandising plan and basic SEO tips to get you ready for selling online. Moderated by Erin Andrews, Indi Chocolate.
This session will unearth the latest trends in chocolate from research conducted by 210 Analytics and underwritten by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), including insights into the rapidly growing fine chocolate segment. The Sweet Insights report unearths the latest trends in chocolate from research conducted by 210 Analytics and underwritten by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), National Confectioners Association (NCA) and Barry Callebaut. The report includes insights into the rapidly growing fine chocolate segment. Join researcher Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics who will provide an in depth analysis of the fine chocolate consumer. The full report which examines the mass, premium and fine chocolate segments is available for review in the members only section of the FCIA website. November 18, 2021
This will be a bilingual webinar from the Rizek Cacao Nacional farm (English) The most immersive truffle making demo you will ever experience! Join Elaine De Windt & Max Wax from the Kahkow team as we learn about Single Origin cacao and how to use it in your chocolates and creations. (Español) ¡La demostración de fabricación de trufas más completa que jamás hayas experimentado! Únase a Elaine De Windt & Max Wax del equipo de Kahkow mientras aprendemos sobre el cacao de origen único y cómo usarlo en sus chocolates y creaciones.
Lauren Adler moderated a discussion focused on Online Shopping Carts 101. Three different platforms were represented: Shopify, Squarespace and Magento. Panelist discussed the pros and cons of the different shopping carts and how their features work for chocolate companies. Julie Warner from Christopher Elbow spoke to their experience with Magento. Rhonda Kave from Roni-Sue's Chocolates spoke to Squarespace. Ryan Cheney from Raaka and Arjun Banker from Dandelion spoke about their experience with Shopify.
The Chocolate Doctor is in the house. Dr. Kerry Beal brings her emergency room experience to triage temper troubles faced by chocolatiers in kitchens around the globe. Kerry is also the tutor for the Ecole Chocolat online Chocolate Quality and Shelf Life Program.
After the success of Specialty Food LIVE!™, SFA’s first virtual experience this past September. Leo Squatrito Vice President Member Development & Outreach Specialty Food Association will share lessons learned and what is planned for the upcoming virtual trade show.
As we head into “chocolate season”, starting with Halloween, then Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, we know that things will look different this year. In this webinar, join the Ecole Chocolat team who will discuss ways to set up your business for success during these uncertain times. Topics for discussion will include production planning, sales and marketing strategies, e-commerce, and shipping. They will be joined by Dahlia Graham of Fruition Chocolate, Elaine Hsieh of EHChocolatier and Romeo Garcia of Romeo Chocolate! Join us for some great tips and conversations to help your business thrive!
Have you considered where couverture is produced in addition to who made it? Join Dale Erwin from Conexion Chocolate, as he shares more about their business model, working hand-in-hand with cacao farmers, who produce incredible cacao. Conexion Chocolate works with five different cooperatives to source cacao for their bars and couvertures. Each cooperative brings a unique flavor profile or terroir to the chocolate due to their location in the country. During this session Dale will talk about: 1. Value Addition 2. Traceability 3. Commitment to paying fair prices to their producers, the empowerment of women, involving young people in the sector (generational relief), and incentivizing education. By sourcing directly from cacao cooperatives and working together on projects, they are the connection between hard-working producers in Ecuador and professionals and chocolate lovers all over the world.
FCIA is joined by Hector Rizek, CEO of the Dominican Republic's oldest and largest producer, Rizek Cacao S.A.S., a company that has been driving the transformation of the cocoa sector, establishing the Dominican Republic as a source of high-grade beans. Viewers will join Max Wax and Elvi Reyes of Rizek Cacao / KahKow who will take you on a virtual tour of Rizek's post-harvest center in the Dominican Republic, to learn how fermentation and drying impact flavor as well as answer questions at the end of the tour.
Dive into the world of Heirloom Chocolate with industry leaders in the recorded webinar 'Profiting from Heirloom Chocolate' hosted by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. Discover the strategies employed by Master Chocolatier Richard Tango-Lowy of Dancing Lion Chocolate and Catherine Wiersema of Chocolats Passion to boost profit margins and support the chocolate community. Moderated by Anne Zaczek from the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, this insightful session, which took place on April 25, 2024, unveils the power of Heirloom varieties in enhancing business and fostering community impact. Watch now to unlock the secrets to success in the chocolate industry.
Madagascar is the source of premium, quality cacao and spices. It is also home to some of the most unique animal and plant life on earth. Learn about a public-private partnership which explores how to grow and market cocoa and spices in new, innovative ways while protecting the environment and biodiversity. The program also addresses farmer livelihoods as well as educational opportunities for youth and women
Join us as we discuss the consumer’s heightened connection between what we eat and our health at this unique time in history. We will explore attitudes towards sugar, sugar reduction and sugar free confections, as well as remind us of the legal differences and options for confections. This discussion will cover the demand for Keto lifestyle, sugar conscious and plant- based products as well as provide some live demo solutions for formulating tasty products to satisfy the consumer’s appetite for sensible indulgence.
The Rizek & Kahkow teams are back. It’s the peak season for cacao harvest in the Dominican Republic and they’re eager to show us what this process entails. Max Wax & Daisy Polanco are joined by Maricel Presilla who will guide us through Tireo, a Single Estate neighboring the world-renowned farm Los Ancones.
The panel will talk about the path the Agrofloresta team has taken to arrive to the US bean to bar market, and how we take care of the cacao bean from farm to the cocoa roaster.
Guittard's Pastry Chefs Donald Wressell and Josh Johnson will discuss and demonstrate different ways to celebrate the essence of flavor in desserts as well as how to use other flavors and flavor pairings to bring those flavors to life. Along with Amy Guittard, Guittard's Director of Marketing, the three will touch on the crafting process from cultivating quality cocoa at the farm and preserving flavor through partnerships with local governments all the way to designing a finished dessert -- giving attendees an appreciation for how pastry can elevate the flavor profiles generated by different origins. Guittard is the oldest continuously family-owned chocolate company in the country; they supply chocolate to confectioners, chefs, bakeries, and other foodservice providers around the country and world in addition to a variety of products for home bakers.
Are you telling your story and reaching the right audience? Melissa Martin, the new FCIA Manager of Marketing, PR & Events, will be presenting the key pillars to grow your business amidst current marketing trends. Three Takeaways: How to Maximize Social Media to Boost Sales Email Marketing & Leads What Your Website May Be Missing We will delve into these above topics in more detail and discuss best practices. Whether your marketing is focused directly to the consumer, or B2B, Melissa will help you navigate further growth in 2022. A case study featuring FCIA member, Kahkow, will be included.
In a joint presentation, FCIA Executive Director, Bill Guyton and The Fermentation Association (TFA) Executive Director, Neal Vitale, explore the role fermentation plays in expressing the flavor profile of cacao beans. With so many variables influencing the fermentation process of cacao, it is a balance of science and art. In this webinar, FCIA and TFA are joined by three cocoa fermentation experts discussing how they achieve that balance from the perspective of a smaller vs. larger processor as well as a consultant who works with farms around the world. Find out how Nat Bletter, PhD (founder of Madre Chocolate), Max Wax (VP Rizek Cacao), and Dan O'Doherty (principal of Cacao Services) leverage science to highlight flavor profiles to develop beans prized by chocolate makers.
Is there single origin buyer fatigue? What is succeeding in the market place and what is not? What do consumers want beyond a bar? What are the options? What are the grocery stores and smaller specialty stores looking for? How do you sell in a larger region than you now have, or out of state. Lee Theisen who goes by @chocolate_guru on Instagram when he is not teaching the science, history and economics of chocolate at UCLA talks to Matt Caputo who is both a retailer (Caputo’s Market & Deli) and a distributor (A Priori Specialty Food and Distribution) to get his pulse on the market and where it is headed.
Festivals present great opportunities for exhibitors, but they are a significant expense of time and money. Learn how to choose which events are right for your company, ways to get the most out of your event participation, and what to do before and after each event. Whether virtual or in-person, preparation is the key to success.
James Le Compte, CEO at To'ak Chocolate, will talk us through To'ak's digital marketing strategy, which was developed in response to the current crisis. To'ak runs a Shopify powered e-commerce store and the strategy will cover tools such as landing pages, marketing automation, social proof, page load speed optimization and others that help to drive traffic, conversion and repeat purchases. James will share links to qualified tools, a digital marketing strategy template and answer questions about To'ak's experience.