Event Details

October 23 - 24, 2019


Radisson Blu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Ghana farmer drying beans | Photo: Mwangi Kirubi







Registration is now open for the World Cocoa Foundation 2019 Partnership Meeting!

The Partnership Meeting will be held in Berlin, Germany, on October 23-24. This year’s theme is “Drivers of Change”.

The meeting will explore three drivers of change:

  1. Effective stakeholder collaboration and partnerships;
  2. Strong business and policy enabling environment; and
  3. Public private investment in science, innovation, and learning.

Sustainability experts, cocoa and chocolate company representatives, government officials, and more will share inspiring ideas, reflect on pressing issues, present case studies, and discuss expertise related to each driver of change. All Partnership Meeting participants will be able to interact and network with speakers and partners, and be empowered to drive positive change in the cocoa supply chain. Register to join us at the special early bird rate by September 6, 2019.


The Partnership Meeting is made possible by our generous sponsors:

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org licensesby2.0)]



Cocoa Reception



Headshot of Justin Adams

Justin Adams Executive Director, Tropical Forest Alliance

Justin Adams has spent over 25 years championing innovation and sustainability in the private and public sector to address the challenge of climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable livelihoods. He joined The World Economic Forum to lead the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) in November 2018. Prior to the TFA he spent 5 years as the Global Managing Director for Lands at the Nature Conservancy where he launched and led all the organization's work on Natural Climate Solutions and set up the nature4climate partnership.

Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Justin spent 20 years in the private sector with senior roles in the renewable energy and agriculture sectors. He served on the board of multiple cleantech companies in the period 2006-2015 and was a Fellow at the Smith School, University of Oxford from 2012-2018. He is a business graduate from Bath University.

Headshot of  Joseph Boahen Aidoo

Joseph Boahen Aidoo CEO, Ghana Cocoa Board

JB Aidoo was appointed to the position of CEO, Ghana Cocoa Board in January 2017. Mr. Aidoo served from 2000-2006 as Regional Minister for Ghana’s Western Region under the administration of former President John A. Kufuor, and from 2000-2012 as a Member of Parliament with the New Patriotic Party from the Western Region. He has been a researcher at the Institute for Land Management and Development at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi (Ghana), where he has researched and written extensively on issues related to land tenure and cocoa.

Headshot of John Ament

John Ament Global Vice President - Cocoa, Mars, Incorporated

John Ament was appointed Global Vice President of Cocoa at Mars, Incorporated in September 2017. In this capacity he oversees science, research and development, responsible sourcing, sustainability, and corporate affairs related to cocoa for Mars Wrigley Confectionery. Prior to his current role he was Regional President of Mars Chocolate Latin America, based in São Paulo, Brazil. During his 27-year career at Mars, John has spent time working in Sales, Marketing and General Management in many of the Mars businesses including Chocolate, Food and Petcare, the business he originally joined shortly after graduating as a Veterinary Surgeon. John is a Dutch national, born in Kenya where he spent his earliest years before moving to Brazil where he was educated.

Headshot of Michel Arrion

Michel Arrion Executive Director, International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)

Michel Arrion was appointed Executive Director of ICCO in October 2018, where he will serve a five-year term in the post. A Belgian national, Mr. Arrion is an EU civil servant who has served as Ambassador of the European Union in various African countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda, and Côte d'Ivoire.

Headshot of Felix Finkbeiner

Felix Finkbeiner Founder, Plant-For-The-Planet

Felix Finkbeiner launched the children and youth initiative Plant-for-the-Planet in 2007 at the age of nine, with the support of children from over a hundred countries. Inspired by the story of Wangari Maathai, Mr. Finkbeiner developed the idea that children could promote climate justice by planting a million trees in every country. In May 2018, the German President awarded him with the Federal Cross of Merit to honor his commitment for climate justice. Mr. Finkbeiner is currently attaining his PhD at ETH Zurich, where he is researching forest restoration potential on a global scale as well as the question of which areas should be prioritized to maximize the impact of bio-sequestration in addressing the anthropogenic climate crisis.

Headshot of Maria Flachsbarth

Maria Flachsbarth Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, BMZ

Maria Flachsbarth, a doctor of veterinary medicine from University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, became a member of the German Parliament in 2002. In March 2018, she became Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Since 2006, she has been deputy chair of the CDU in the state of Lower Saxony, and since 2007, she has chaired the CDU district association for Hanover. From 2002 to 2013, she served on the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. From 2009 to 2013, she chaired a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the envisaged radioactive waste disposal facility at Gorleben, and she was the special representative for churches and religious communities of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. Then from the end of 2013 to March 2018, she served as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture.

Headshot of Antonie Fountain

Antonie Fountain Managing Director, VOICE Network

Antonie Fountain, is Managing Director of the VOICE Network and co-author of the Cocoa Barometers. He acts as one of the key spokespersons for civil society in cocoa, and has been actively advocating a sustainable cocoa sector for more than a decade.

Headshot of Hans-Joachim Fuchtel

Hans-Joachim Fuchtel Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Germany

Hans-Joachim Fuchtel has been Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture since March 2018. Following his studies of law and economics, he worked in the senior civil service of the federal state of Baden Württemberg. He has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1987. Mr. Fuchtel served as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 2009 to 2013 and as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2013 to 2018.

Headshot of Pomasi Ismail

Pomasi Ismail Chairman, Council of Cocoa Abrabopa Assocation

Pomasi Ismail is Chairman of the Council of Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA), a farmer-based organization in Ghana with a membership of over 8,000 certified smallholder cocoa farmers.

Mr. Ismail has been a cocoa farmer for over 18 years. He joined CAA in 2007 and became Regional Representative (Ashanti Region, Ghana) to the Council of CAA in 2014.

Headshot of  Brahima Yves Koné

Brahima Yves Koné Director General, Conseil du Café Cacao

Brahima Yves Koné has been Director General of the CCC since August 2017. He is an agronomist engineer, CEO of the company Cocoa Products Côte d'Ivoire (PROCACI/UNICAO), president of SOTRA, and honorable member and president of the economic and financial affairs committee of the National Assembly, and officer of the national order and commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit.

Headshot of Kate Lawyer

Kate Lawyer Program Officer, Agricultural Development, Region Focus - Africa, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Kate Lawyer works as a Program Officer for the Enabling Country Systems Portfolio for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Agricultural Development Team. During her time at the foundation, her work has focused on developing a portfolio of investments related to building the capacity of policy systems, formulating and advancing the team’s country and regional strategies, and--more recently--leading the foundation's relationship with one of the team’s largest partners--AGRA.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Lawyer earned her MPA from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs concurrent with spending three years in West Africa as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer where she worked with rural mayoral offices to help execute community development plans that had been drafted jointly by the community's local government and traditional authorities.

Headshot of Gerard A. Manley

Gerard A. Manley Chief Executive Officer, Olam Cocoa

Gerard Manley is the Chief Executive Officer of Olam Cocoa. He is a member of Olam Group’s Executive Committee and is Executive Chairman of the group’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Function and has oversight on Olam’s European operations. He is a Board member of the ECA and the World Cocoa Foundation and a Founder member of CocoaAction. He is a former Chairman of the Federation of Cocoa Commerce and has served on the Boards of the Cocoa Association of Asia and the London Cocoa Terminal Market.

Mr. Manley has over 30 years’ Board experience in the cocoa world, joining Holco Trading Company (part of ED&F Man) in 1983. He has been with Olam for the past 21 years. He has a BA Honors in Geography and holds an MBA from the City University in London.

Headshot of Leonard Mizzi

Leonard Mizzi Head of Unit, European Commission; Directorate-General, International Cooperation and Development - Rural Development, Food Security, and Nutrition

Leonard Mizzi became Head of Unit at the European Commission, Directorate-General (DG) for International Cooperation and Development - Rural development, food security and nutrition in January 2017. Prior to this post he was Head of Unit for 10 years in DG Agriculture and Rural Development, first in charge of agri trade and development issues and led the inter-institutional unit hence relations with the European Parliament, Council, and consultative bodies, steering Civil Dialogue Groups.

Mr. Mizzi has a broad working experience in the Maltese public administration and the Maltese private sector. He is a graduate in Public Administration from the University of Malta and has degrees from CIHEAM-Montpellier (Master of Science) and a PhD in Agricultural economics from the University of Reading (UK). He has been an author of a number of articles and publications on agri food issues and nutrition in the Mediterranean region.

Headshot of Kavita Prakash-Mani

Kavita Prakash-Mani Global Conservation Director, World Wildlife Fund

Kavita Prakash-Mani is the Global Conservation Director at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). She is responsible for the WWF Practices delivering against the WWF conservation goals to protect and restore habitats including landscapes, freshwater systems and oceans; protect species; and tackle climate change. She leads the development of WWF strategy and approach, partnership development and engagement, planning and performance as well as campaigns. Prior to this position, she led WWF’s global practice on Markets.

Previously, Ms. Prakash-Mani was Executive Director of Grow Asia in Singapore; the Global Head, Food Security Agenda at Syngenta International; and Executive Director, SustainAbility in London. She has worked at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC and Glaxo SmithKline in India.

Headshot of Barbara Scherle

Barbara Scherle Master of Ceremonies

Barbara Scherle is a reporter and the Berlin anchorwoman for ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH. She also works as an anchorwoman at German news channel N24, as managing director on the channel's planning team, and presents Kabel1 News. Ms. Scherle coaches NGOs in media law and has specialized in sustainability for event hosting and podium discussions. Since 2010, she has taught news broadcasting in the Karlsruhe study program KulturMedia-Technology. She studied economics at Universität Augsburg with a focus on economic policy and environmental economics.

Headshot of Rick Scobey

Rick Scobey President, World Cocoa Foundation

Rick Scobey is President of the World Cocoa Foundation, where he leads the strategic development of the organization. Mr. Scobey serves as the primary spokesperson on behalf of member companies, and leads the direction of the cocoa industry on sustainability priorities. He brings to WCF more than 30 years of rural development and poverty reduction expertise at the World Bank Group.

Headshot of Thomas Vaassen

Thomas Vaassen Co-founder and CTO, Meridia

Thomas Vaassen is co-founder and CTO of Meridia, a technical platform coupled with a social approach that provides farm land certification and shade tree registration for cocoa farmers at scale while generating verified, reliable field data upstream.

In the past decade Mr. Vaassen has has worked as a management consultant, co-founded start-ups, and worked to build the social enterprise ecosystem globally. He has served for seven years as a managing director for Impact Hub Amsterdam and as the founding Chairman of the global Impact Hub Association.

Stay tuned!

The agenda for the 2019 Partnership Meeting will be announced soon.

Register here for the 2019 World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting.

Registration Type Early Bird Rate (ends September 6) Standard Rate (starts September 7)
WCF Member $850.00 $1,000.00
Non-WCF Member $1,000.00 $1,200.00
Government/NGO $600.00 $800.00

Please email us with any questions regarding registration.


The 2019 Partnership Meeting will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, located at Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 3 D-10178 Berlin, Germany.

Partnership Meeting attendees may book their hotel room using THIS LINK to receive an exclusive WCF discounted rate of €159 per night for a standard room and €174 for a premium room (additional taxes and surcharges may apply). Rooms include free Wi-Fi.


Attendees must book their own travel and accommodations. The hotel is located in the Berlin city center on Alexanderplatz, accessible from both the Tegel and Schönefeld Airports.

Please check to see if you require a visa to travel to Germany. Email registration@worldcocoa.org if you need a visa letter.

Public Transportation

The hotel’s location is well-connected, with many public transport options close by:

Bus and Trams
Bus numbers 100 and 200 and tram numbers M4, M5 and M6 depart just around the corner at the Spandauer Strasse / Marienkirche stop (50 meters from the hotel).

Metro Stations
The S-Bahn is a short walk away, with the nearest stops at either Alexanderplaz (S5, S7, S75, U8, U2, U5, Regional Express train, Airport Express train) or Hackescher Market (S5, S7, S75).

Train Stations
The nearest stations are Ostbahnhof (2.4 km) and Hauptbahnhof, Berlin’s Central station (3 km).

The hotel has a free electric car charging station for all hotel guests and a public garage with 616 parking spaces. The Radisson Blu Berlin is located in the Green Zone, so if you’re arriving by car, you will need to obtain an environmental badge in order to park there.

Photo by Radisson Blu
Photo by Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin
Photo by Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin
Photo by Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin
Photo by Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

2018 Partnership Meeting

The 2018 WCF Partnership Meeting explored “The New Frontiers of Cocoa Sustainability” in São Paulo, Brazil. Learn more.

2017 Partnership Meeting

The 2017 WCF Partnership Meeting discussed the theme “Accelerating Sustainability through Technology and Innovation” to move forward the sustainability agenda for the cocoa sector in Washington, D.C.

2016 Partnership Meeting

The 2016 WCF Partnership Meeting was focused around “People, Planet, Profit in a Changing World” and was held in partnership with le Conseil du Café-Cacao in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

2015 Partnership Meeting

The 2015 WCF Partnership Meeting took place in Washington, D.C. around the theme “Proud of our Past, Focused on our Future”.

2014 Partnership Meeting

The  2014 WCF Partnership Meeting took place in Copenhagen, Denmark with the theme of,“Connecting Sustainability, Standards and Certification”.

2013 Partnership Meetings

The 2013 WCF Partnership Meetings took place in Washington, D.C., with the theme of, “Meeting Tomorrow’s Demand: Productivity, Quality, and Farmers’ Livelihood” and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

2012 Partnership Meetings

The 2012 Partnership Meetings took place in Washington, D.C. and Zurich, Switzerland with the theme of, “Innovations in Cocoa Sustainability: People, Planet, Profit”.

2011 Partnership Meetings

The 2011 Partnership Meetings took place in San Francisco, USA with the theme, “Celebrating the Diversity of Cocoa Origins”, and Accra, Ghana with the theme of, “People, Planet, Profit: Envisioning the Future of Cocoa in Africa”.

2010 Partnership Meetings

The 2010 Partnership Meetings took place in Utrecht, Netherlands and Washington, D.C. with the theme, “Marking a Decade of Cocoa Sustainability”.

2009 Partnership Meetings

The 2009 Partnership Meetings took place in Washington, D.C. with the theme, “The Smallholder Cocoa Farmer in a Globalized World”, and Brussels, Belgium with the theme of, “Building the Capacity for a Sustainable Cocoa Sector”.

2008 Partnership Meetings

The 2008 Partnership Meetings took place in Guayaquil, Ecuador with the theme, “Lessons from Latin America – Invigorating the Cocoa Sector”, and Hamburg, Germany with the theme of, “Strategies and Practical Measures for Transforming the Cocoa Sector”.

2007 Partnership Meetings

The 2007 WCF Partnership Meetings took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Washington, D.C., with the theme of, “Sustainable Cocoa Farming: Building Tomorrow’s Best Practices Today”.

2006 Partnership Meetings

The 2006 Partnership Meetings took place in Brussels, Belgium with the theme, “Achieving and Measuring Sustainable Success at the Farm Level”, and Washington, D.C.

2005 Partnership Meetings

The 2005 Partnership Meetings took place in Brussels, Belgium and Washington, D.C. with the theme, “Challenges & Opportunities for Cocoa in Economic Development and Prosperity”.

2004 Partnership Meetings

The 2004 Partnership Meetings took place in Brussels, Belgium and Washington, D.C.


Partnership Meeting Summaries

  • 2018 Partnership Meeting Summary (English)
  • 2018 Sumário Executivo do Partnership Meeting (Português)
  • 2017 Partnership Meeting Summary
  • 2016 Partnership Meeting Summary
  • 2015 Partnership Meeting Summary
  • 2014 Partnership Meeting Summary
  • 2012 Partnership Meeting Washington, D.C. Day 1 Summary
  • 2012 Partnership Meeting Washington, D.C. Day 2 Summary