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Chocolate Council Newsletter

June 11, 2014

 

Cocoa Pods NCA

Chocolate Council hosts inaugural Chocolate & Cocoa Day in Washington
The Chocolate Council holds its first ever Washington Chocolate and Cocoa Day on June 26. Company representatives will meet with Brian Pendelton, senior policy advisor in FDA's Office of Policy as well as with officials of the Mexican and Canadian embassies. Meetings with members of Congress are also scheduled. Dr. Robert Post, former associate executive director for USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, will speak to members and policy makers on how chocolate fits into the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, followed by a chocolate- and cocoa-infused reception at the NCA office in Georgetown. Contact Susan Smith.

     
Chocolate companies collaborate on CocoaAction
Twelve of the largest cocoa companies in the world including ADM Cocoa, Armajaro Trading Limited, Barry Callebaut, The Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Ferrero USA, Inc., The Hershey Company, Mars Chocolate North America and Nestle, and the World Cocoa Foundation announced in May the formation of CocoaAction, a partnership between the two largest cocoa growing countries in the world, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The goal of CocoaAction is to train 300,000 farmers in the two countries where cocoa farming has begun losing its appeal as a viable livelihood for the next generation of farmers. Vice President of Cocoa Sustainability for Barry Callebaut and former WCF Chair Nicko Debenham will speak about CocoaAction and the future of chocolate's most precious ingredient at NCA's 2015 State of the Industry in February. Contact Susan Smith.
 
Chocolate Bunny Easter Sales NCA Long Easter season translates to impressive chocolate dollar, unit gains
Easter 2014 was a strong season for the confectionery industry overall and chocolate in particular. Chocolate dollar sales were up 7.1 percent and units grew 5.1 percent. The chocolate segment had several strong performers including bag/box/bars and seasonal chocolate. On average retailers added five new seasonal chocolate items, helping drive an impressive 12.5 percent growth — the highest of all products. Packaged chocolate was the most advertised item. Contact Larry Wilson.
     
NCA-sponsored events promote chocolate research at leading nutrition conference
This spring NCA sponsored a scientific session on cocoa flavanols at the American Society for Nutrition's Experimental Biology conference. The session was chaired by Jeff Blumberg of Tufts University and included four speakers on topics related to emerging research on flavanols. The session was attended by approximately 100 academics, students and industry professional. Proceedings have be submitted to the journal Advances in Nutrition and will be published in the September issue, with the goal of submission to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Chocolate Council also sponsored a reception for thought leaders and student scientists to develop stronger relationships within the cocoa research community. Contact Laura Shumow.
 
Cocoa Pods NCA Chocolate Council Award for Outstanding Flavanol Research given
NCA’s Chocolate Council sponsored a chocolate-themed reception and student research competition for the American Society for Nutrition’s Bioactive Research Interest Section at the Experimental Biology conference. Jeffery Blumberg from Tufts along with Catherine Kwik Uribe of Mars Chocolate North America and Debra Miller of The Hershey Company served as judges in the competition. Benjamin Redan from Purdue University won the inaugural Chocolate Council Award for Outstanding Flavanol Research for his work on flavan-3-ol bioavailability. Contact Laura Shumow.
     
Sweets & Snacks Expo highlights chocolate
Last month at its annual Sweets & Snacks Expo, NCA bestowed 45 Most Innovative New Product Award nominations to companies showcasing imaginative ideas, concepts and products in chocolate, candy and snacks. Of the nominees across the nine categories featured, 19 – or 42 percent – included chocolate. The Chocolate Traveler’s Tabasco Chocolates received top honors in the chocolate category and The Hershey Company’s York Minis took home the coveted inaugural Best in Show Award. Contact Jenn Ellek.
 
U.S. chocolate exports rise in first quarter
Exports of U.S. chocolate confectionery rose to $288 million in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $260 million in 2013. The top export markets for U.S. chocolate goods are Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines. Exports to Australia increased dramatically from the first quarter of 2013 while those to Mexico declined. Contact Karen Horan.
 
Comments on high risk designation submitted
Last week NCA submitted comments to FDA on the designation of foods as high risk under the Food Safety Modernization Act. NCA advocated that cocoa beans should be considered a raw agricultural commodity, which would exempt beans from additional recordkeeping requirements. Contact Zara Khaleeli.
 
Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group releases 2013 annual report
In April the Department of Labor, governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, offices of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Elliott Engel (D-NY), and eight cocoa companies released the 2013 annual report on progress toward reducing the worst forms of child labor in cocoa. Contact Susan Smith.
 
Candy & Snack TODAY highlights action in cocoa growing communities
This year Candy & Snack TODAY continues to highlight the progress towards improving livelihoods in cocoa growing communities. This month the spotlight is on The Hershey Company’s Ghana Distance Learning Program which links students in Hershey, Penn., with those in Ghana through a virtual classroom experience, bridging cultures and engaging local communities. Contact Susan Smith.
 
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