The 2018 WCF Partnership Meeting explored “The New Frontiers of Cocoa Sustainability” in São Paulo, Brazil, on October 24-25.

Download the 2018 Partnership Meeting Summary

  • 2018 Partnership Meeting Summary (English)
  • 2018 Sumário Executivo do Partnership Meeting (Português)


Save the Date

Join WCF for the 2019 Partnership Meeting in Berlin, Germany, on October 23-24.

  • 8:30am Official Opening
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Master of Ceremony: Vico Iasi, Globo Rural
    • Blairo Maggi, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Brazil
    • Edson Duarte, Ministry of Environment, Government of Brazil
    • Rick Scobey, World Cocoa Foundation
  • 9:50am Introduction by Platinum Sponsor Barry Callebaut
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Nicko Debenham, Barry Callebaut
  • 9:55am Raising the Curtain on Sustainable Cocoa in Latin America
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Reforestation by Cocoa in Brazil: Alan Batista, World Resources Institute
    • Building a Sustainable Farming Ecosystem in Peru: José Iturrios, Peru Cocoa Alliance
    • Cocoa and Peace in Colombia: Juana Botero, CasaLuker
  • 10:25am Agriculture, Social Inclusion and Environment Conservation
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Guilherme Leal, Dengo
    • Rick Scobey, WCF
  • 10:55am Cocoa Break, sponsored by Barry Callebaut
    Moema Foyer
  • 11:15am CAMPFIRE: The Cocoa Sustainability Journey
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Moderator: Nira Desai, World Cocoa Foundation
    • Britta Wyss Bisang, UTZ/Rainforest Alliance
    • Gerard A. Manley, Olam
    • Uilson Lopes, CEPLAC
  • 11:15am FARMERS OF TOMORROW / BREAKOUT SESSION: Lessons Learned from Different Farmer Organization Models
    Moema A
    • Moderator: Fausto Rodriguez, AMEA
    • Fatima Ali, Kuapa Kokoo
    • Awa Traoré Bamba, Coop Cayat
    • Guilherme Moura, FAEB
    • Ana Paula Souza, COPAG Cooperative
  • 11:15am TOWARD FOREST-POSITIVE COCOA / BREAKOUT SESSION: Fighting Deforestation With a Landscape Approach
    Moema B
    • Moderator: Daniela Mariuzzo, IDH-The Sustainable Trade Initiative
    • Simon Brayn-Smith, Olam
    • Joseph Larrose, Touton
    • Judy Rodrigues, High Carbon Stock Approach
    • Eduardo Trevisan, Imaflora
  • 11:15am PATHWAYS TO PRODUCTIVITY / BREAKOUT SESSION: Four Landscapes, Four Pathways to Productivity
    • Dario Ahnert, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz
    • Victor Ganoza, Technoserve Peru
    • Emmanuel Opoku, CHED Ghana Cocoa Board
    • Corrado Meotti, Barry Callebaut
  • 12:10pm Lunch, sponsored by Barry Callebaut
    Meeting 3-6
  • 1:10pm FARMERS OF TOMORROW / BREAKOUT SESSION: Cross-Regional Learnings to Support the Well-Being of Children and Youth in Cocoa-Growing Communities
    Moema A
    • Moderator: Nick Weatherill, International Cocoa Initiative
    • Mawutor Ablo, Programs, Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection
    • Claudia Guimarães, Jacobs Foundation
    • Maria Yvelonia dos Santos Barbosa, PETI – Ministry of Social Development
    • Taco Terheijden, Cargill
  • 1.10pm TOWARD FOREST POSITIVE COCOA / WORKOUT SESSION: Farm-level Incentives for Forest Positive Cocoa
    Morumbi Ballroom

    ‘Workout’ sessions are highly interactive: attendees will work in small group to exchange ideas and experiences on cocoa sustainability challenges presented by experts.

    • Moderator: Ethan Budiansky, WCF
    • Keylah Regina Borges, COOPERCAU Cooperative
    • Wendy Arenas Wightman, High Commission for Postconflict Environment and Sustainability
    • Petra Heid, Chocolats Halba
  • 1.10pm PATHWAYS TO PRODUCTIVITY / WORKOUT SESSION: Cocoa Health, Flavor, Genetics: Theory and Adoption Challenges
    Moema BC

    ‘Workout’ sessions are highly interactive: attendees will work in small group to exchange ideas and experiences on cocoa sustainability challenges presented by experts.

    • Moderator: Mayesse Da Silva, Soils and Landscape for Sustainability (SoiLS) Research Area – CIAT
    • Jean-Philippe Marelli, Mars, Inc.
    • Richard Asare, IITA
    • Cristiano Villela, Cocoa Innovation Center
  • 2.20pm Case Studies: Empowered Women Lead the Way to Cocoa Sustainability
    Moema A
    • Anne-Marie Yao, Fairtrade
    • Jean-Yves Couloud, CARE
    • Boukje Theeuwes, Solidaridad
  • 3:30pm Cocoa Break, sponsored by Casa Luker, Ecom, The Hershey Company, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Mondelēz, and Olam
    Morumbi Foyer
  • 3:50pm Three Sustainability leaders report on Breakouts and Workouts
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Track 1: Nicko Debenham, Barry Callebaut
    • Track 2: Simon Billington, Nestlé
    • Track 3: Patrick Poirrier, CÉMOI
  • 4:05pm Living Income : Toward a Better Understanding
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Moderator: Joost Gorter, New Foresight
    • John Ament, Mars, Incorporated
    • Awa Traoré Bamba, Co-Op CAYAT (Côte d’Ivoire)
    • Stephanie Daniels, Sustainable Food Labs
    • Jon Walker, Fairtrade International
  • 4:50pm New Approaches to Regional Cooperation in West Africa
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Moderator: Tim McCoy, WCF
    • Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Ghana Cocoa Board
    • Brahima Yves Koné, Conseil du Café Cacao
  • 5:40pm Cocoa Farmers Rountable
    • Moderator: Suzanna Zhu, The Hershey Company
    • Isaac Donkor, Ghana
    • Ulbia Guadalupe Intriago Mera, Ecuador
    • Eunice Gutzeit, Fazenda Panorama, Para State, Brazil
    • Julienne Assoko Kouadi, CCAPRESSA, Côte d’Ivoire
    • Alicia Herrera Jaramillo, COCAU, Peru
  • 6:20pm Networking Reception sponsored by Olam
    • Sathyamurthy Mayilswamy, Olam
  • 9:00am Opening

    Master of Ceremony: Vico Iasi, Globo Rural

  • 9:15am Introduction by Gold Sponsor Cargill

    Laerte Moraes, Cargill

  • 9:20am Agriculture Sustainability and Biodiversity 2030
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Moderator: Marcelo Furtado, World Resources Institute, Brazil
    • Alexandra Peralta, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Ecuador
    • Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias, Bioversity
    • José Carlos Polidoro, Embrapa Soils
  • 10:20am What Cocoa Can Learn from Coffee
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Carlos Brando, P&A Marketing International, Global Coffee Platform
  • 10:40am CocoaAction Launch
    Morumbi Ballroom
  • 10:50am Cocoa Break, sponsored by Cargill
    Moema Foyer
  • 11:10am Innovation Marketplace
    Moema BC

    CARE; HCSA; Lutheran World Relief; SOUTHPOLE; IITA Cameroon; IITA Ghana; Makita; FCCI; Technoserve; Imaflora; Plant for the Planet; Barry Callebaut

  • 11:10am Facilitated Networking - Track 3: Pathways to Productivity
    Moema A

    Informal networking session for participants with an interest in productivity issues facilitated by Paul Macek, WCF.

  • 11:40am Facilitated Networking - Track 2: Toward Forest-Positive Cocoa
    Moema A

    Informal networking session for participants with an interest in environmental issues facilitated by Ethan Budiansky, WCF.

  • 12:10pm Facilitated Networking - Track 1: Farmers of Tomorrow
    Moema A

    Informal networking session for participants with an interest in social and human rights issues facilitated by Youssouf N’Djoré, WCF.

  • 12:45pm Lunch, sponsored by Cargill
    Meeting 3-6
  • 2:00pm Digitizing Cocoa Payments to Improve Livelihoods; The Example of Ghana
    • Buddy Buruku, World Cocoa Foundation
  • 2:20pm PANEL: How Green Finance Can Drive Forest-Positive Cocoa
    • Moderator: Cathy Pieters, Mondelēz
    • Dominique Gangneux, South Pole
    • Donald Nzorubara, IFC
    • Carolina Mejia, 12Tree
    • Wilson Vaz de Araujo, ABC Brazil
  • 3:20pm Cocoa Break, sponsored by Casa Luker, Ecom, The Hershey Company, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Mondelēz, and Olam
    Morumbi Foyer
  • 3:50pm Cocoa Farmers Roundtable
    Morumbi Ballroom
    • Moderator: Vico Iasi
    • Lucy Addai-Poku, Salve Regina School, Kumasi, Ghana
    • Catherine Yah, SCAEK Co-op, Côte d’Ivoire
    • Ruth Moloney, 6 Point Partner, Belize
    • Henrique Souza, Ouro Fino Farm, Bahia, Brazil
  • 4:30pm Plant for the Planet

    Evelyn Araripe, Plant for the Planet; Plant for the Planet young ambassadors

  • 4:40pm Conclusion and 2019 rendez-vous
    Morumbi Ballroom

    Rick Scobey, WCF

  • 5:00pm Event Concludes

Field Trip

A field trip was organized after the 2018 Partnership Meeting in Bahia, Brazil (Ilhéus region), on October 26-28, 2018.

Participants explored Bahian cocoa up close, with site visits to research centers and the region’s unique Cabruca cocoa production model, and meet sector leaders who are tackling quality and innovation challenges locally. They were based in Ilhéus, the city of the cacao ‘gold rush’, where, according to local author Jorge Amado, “there was no conversation in which the word ‘cacao’ did not play an essential part”. This is still the case with a high concentration of scientists working on cocoa health management and quality and productivity issues. Some local cocoa farms are also known for their pioneering environmental practices protecting the threatened Atlantic Forest in Bahia.

Photo by Dengo
Photo by Dengo
  • 10:40am Departure
    São Paulo CGH Airport
  • 12:50pm Arrival
    Ilhéus, Brazil
  • 2:30pm Visit Condurú Farm, the cocoa plantation linked to sustainability leader Guilherme Leal, a 1,000-hectare “productive conservation” project
    Condurú Farm
  • 6:30pm Hotel Check In
  • 8:30am Visit smallholder cocoa farm
  • 11:00am Visit cocoa nursery
    Biofábrica de Cacau
  • 12:30pm Lunch
    Traditional cocoa farm

    Government of Bahia

  • 2:30pm Visit CEPLAC (Research and Technical Assistance in Cocoa – Cepeq/Ceplac)
  • 4:00pm Visit Cocoa Innovation Center (CIC)
  • Evening Free time to visit Ilhéus’s historic center
  • 8:55am Depart from Ilhéus Airport
    Ilhéus Airport to São Paulo CGH Airport
  • 12:15pm Arrive at São Paulo CGH Airport
    São Paulo CGH Airport

Expert Guides

Headshot of Ray Major

Ray Major Expert Guide / Specialist in Cocoa Production, Processing & Sustainability

Ray Major retired from the Hershey Company in September, 2015 after 39 years working in the chocolate and confectionery industry. At Hershey he held a variety of positions in manufacturing, crop research, product development and procurement. For six years he ran Hershey’s manufacturing operations in Brazil and for ten years he traveled the world searching out fine cocoas for Hershey’s Artisan Brands, Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. In 2010 he was made a Hershey Fellow in recognition of his long service to the cocoa industry. His experience in cocoa production and chocolate making spans five continents. His last responsibility was managing Hershey’s global cocoa sustainability program.

Today he runs a consulting business focused on tropical agriculture, cocoa production, processing, chocolate making and sustainability. He supports the cocoa sector from farm to finished product, bridging the gap between cocoa producer and chocolate maker.

Headshot of Pedro Ronca

Pedro Ronca Expert Guide / P&A Marketing

Manager of the Brazil Program of the Global Coffee Platform and the CocoaAction Brazil Initiative of WCF. Pedro Ronca has acted as auditor for certification in sustainable production chains, including chain of custody and adequacy of properties for certification. It is a rural producer and coffee farmer in the south of MG. Mr. Ronca has experience with planning projects, conducting and managing properties with adequacy of production systems, productivity increase, post-harvest and specialty coffee production and strategic market consulting, business plans and conscious use of natural resources in most Brazilian coffee regions. He got his degree in agronomy at the "Luiz de Queiroz" School of Agriculture (ESALQ / USP), postgraduate in Agribusiness Coffee by FIA / USP and in Economics and Coffee Science at the University of Trieste / illycaffè, Italy.


Headshot of Mawutor Ablo

Mawutor Ablo Programs, Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana

Programs, Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana. Mawutor Ablo is a Social Protection, Monitoring and Evaluation expert from Ghana with more than 11 years’ experience. He is a pioneer who led the development of the National Social Protection Policy and was also involved in the design and implementation of the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) in Ghana. He is also currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Community of Practice of Cash Transfer Programs in Africa.

Headshot of Lucy Addai-Poku

Lucy Addai-Poku Associate Executive Director, Salve Regina School, Kumasi

Associate Executive Director at the Salve Regina School, Kumasi. Lucy Addai-Poku is a professional teacher who holds a Bachelor of Education Degree in Home Economics from the University of Cape Coast, and a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. She is a cocoa farmer who is making significant impact in cocoa communities across the country. She keeps a 10-acre cocoa farm in Asakranka, a cocoa growing community in the Nkawie District of the Ashanti Region. She has worked with other women cocoa farmers within her area to form the Asakranka Women Cocoa Farmers Association.

Headshot of Dario Ahnert

Dario Ahnert Agronomist, Senior Professor of Genetics and Breeding, State University of Santa Cruz - UESC

Agronomist, PhD in plant breeding, senior professor of genetics and breeding of the State University of Santa Cruz – UESC. Dario Ahnert is a specialist in cacao, with extensive experience in cultivar development, germplasm, cultivation and management, agroforestry and post-harvesting. He is the author of more than 50 articles, many book chapters and produced cultivars. He is co-inventor of TropMix and Anima cacao quality beans.

Headshot of Fatima Ali

Fatima Ali President, Kuapa Kokoo

President of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers’ Union. In 2000, Fatima Ali was elected by her zone as the recorder (Purchasing clerk) in charge of the mobilization of members’ cocoa. In 2010, she was elected to the Akontombra district executive council as president. Ms. Ali was subsequently elected to the National Executive Council (NEC). Ms. Ali was then appointed by the NEC as the acting Union president. She was re-elected as president of the Kuapa Kokoo Union in 2014.

Headshot of John Ament

John Ament Global Vice President of Cocoa, Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Global Vice President of Cocoa at Mars Wrigley Confectionery. John Ament oversees plant science, research and development, sustainability, corporate affairs and responsible sourcing relevant to Cocoa for Mars Wrigley Confectionery. Mr. Ament has spent 26 years as an Associate of Mars. Prior to his current role, he was Regional President of Mars Chocolate Latin America where he was based in São Paolo, Brazil. Through his career at Mars he has spent time working in many of the Mars’ businesses including Chocolate, Food and Petcare, the business he originally joined when he had graduated as a Veterinary Surgeon.

Headshot of Evelyn Araripe

Evelyn Araripe Executive Director, Plant-for-the-Planet Brazil

Executive Director of Plant-for-the-Planet Brazil, empowering children and youth to lead tree plantings around the country and raise awareness about climate justice. Evelyn Araripe is a journalist with a post-graduate degree in environmental education and a master’s student at the Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCAR), where she researches how to engage children and young people on climate change. Ms. Araripe is also a German Chancellor Fellowship for Tomorrow’s Leaders fellow.

Headshot of Richard Asare

Richard Asare Coordinator for Cocoa Research for Development, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Coordinator for Cocoa Research for Development at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Based in Ghana, Dr. Richard Asare serves as the coordinator for the CocoaSoils Program and CGIAR’s program on climate change, agriculture and food security that looks at mainstreaming climate smart agriculture in cocoa systems. He has worked as the Focal Point, coordinating scientific activities under the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems Research for the Humid Tropics in West, East and Central Africa. Prior to that, he worked as an Agricultural Advisor with the Danida Forest Seed Center, Center for Forest, Landscape and Planning in Denmark and worked as a cocoa consultant for the World Cocoa Foundation, Winrock International, and SNV in West and Central Africa. Richard has over 16 years of work experience in research and development and has developed a comprehensive framework that packages cocoa agroforestry in a way that improves, encourages and promotes local knowledge per environmental conditions, farmer tree species preferences, market demands, and improved planting material availability. He has an MSc and PhD from the University of Copenhagen.

Headshot of Awa Traoré Bamba

Awa Traoré Bamba General Director, Coopérative Agricole de Yakassé-Attobrou

General Director of Coopérative Agricole de Yakassé-Attobrou (CAYAT). Awa Traoré Bamba is one of Côte d’Ivoire’s prominent female leaders in agriculture and is a national advocate for women and children. She is one of the few women heading an agricutural cooperative in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa and has received multiple accolades and prizes for her advocacy work on women’s empowerment and the protection of children. Ms. Bamba started working at CAYAT at the beginning of her career, as a receptionist, and, thanks to her dedication and hard work, climbed the ladder to access the highest level of leadership. She has been General Director of CAYAT since 2016, and was previously the vice-president of the cooperative. Ms. Bamba has a master’s degree in International Humanitarian Law from the University of Abidjan.

Headshot of Alan Batista

Alan Batista Investment Analyst, World Resources Institute Brazil

Investment Analyst at World Resources Institute (WRI) Brazil. Mr. Batista is responsible for investment and economic modeling of forest restoration and reforestation models. Prior to joining WRI Brazil, he began his working career as a researcher in the field of genetics in the pulp and paper sector. Afterwards he joined Ibá (Brazilian Tree Industry). He holds a degree in Forestry Engineering from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a Master of Science in forest economics at the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Eastern Finland.

Headshot of Britta Wyss Bisang

Britta Wyss Bisang Chief Sustainable Supply Chain Officer, Rainforest Alliance

Chief Sustainable Supply Chain Officer at the Rainforest Alliance. Britta Wyss Bisang is responsible for the certification programs, standards development, training and monitoring and evaluation. She also chairs the ISEAL Alliance Board of Directors. Ms. Wyss Bisang has dedicated her international career to making global supply chains more sustainable and traveled the world in her role as an expert in sustainability standard systems. Over the past 15 years she has garnered extensive firsthand experience of sustainable value chains within various sectors, including spices, olive oil, fruit, nuts, coffee and cocoa. After joining UTZ in 2007, she set up and led the organization’s standards and certification system, which became one of the world’s leading programs for several commodities. She is now overseeing the evolution of Rainforest Alliance certification into a cutting-edge system that is fit for the future. Ms. Wyss Bisang holds a Master’s Degree in environmental sciences from ETH Zurich with a focus on soil science and risk management and is a frequently requested speaker.

Headshot of Joseph Boahen

Joseph Boahen "JB" Aidoo CEO, Ghana Cocoa Board

CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, a position to which he was appointed 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 Keylah Regina Borges

Keylah Regina Borges President, Cooperative of Cocoa Producers, Municipality of Novo Repartimento, State of Pará

President of the Cooperative of Cocoa Producers in the Municipality of Novo Repartimento in the State of Pará. Keylah Regina Borges, an agricultural engineer, graduated from the Federal Rural University of the Amazon. As an agronomist, she serves smallholder farmers for environmental adaptation, technical production, sustainability of the productive family unit and commercialization of agricultural production. She began her professional career in the municipality of Tucumã in the south of Pará, where she became the Municipal Secretary of Agriculture developing pioneering initiatives such as the Rural and Sustainable Development Plan and the Socio-Educational Integration Project (PISE). Later in the Transamazônica, she coordinated the execution of several contracts of Technical Assistance and Extension Rural directed to the service of small farmers, aquiculturists and settlers of the agrarian reform.

Headshot of Juana Botero

Juana Botero Director of Sustainability, CasaLuker Cacao

Director of Sustainability at CasaLuker Cacao, with more than 10 years of experience in managing social projects in vulnerable communities. Ms. Botera is a social entrepreneur and founding partner of "Indelible Social", a company dedicated to the creation of social responsibility strategies for private companies. She studied law at Eafit University of Medellin, with an emphasis in public international law from the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Headshot of Carlos Brando

Carlos Brando Partner, P&A International Marketing

Partner at P&A International Marketing. Carlos Brando has consulted for the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the World Bank, IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) in addition to other companies and institutions on sustainability, marketing, technology, strategy and quality. A frequent speaker at leading international events, Mr. Brando has coordinated coffee projects in many countries and contributed chapters to several books, including Nespresso’s recent “The Craft and Science of Coffee”. A former member of the UTZ Certified Board and current chairman of the Board of the Global Coffee Platform, he is also a member of the CQI (Coffee Quality Institute) Board of Trustees, the Coffee Chamber of [B]³ (former BM&F Bovespa) and MIT’s SPURS International Advisory Board.

Headshot of Simon Brayn-Smith

Simon Brayn-Smith Head of Sustainability, Olam Cocoa

Head of Sustainability for Olam Cocoa. Simon Brayn-Smith has been with Olam for eight years, initially as a procurement manager based in upcountry Ghana before moving to London in 2011. Since then Mr. Brayn-Smith has been a cocoa bean trader and key account manager for the chocolate industry, as well as heading up the commercial side of Olam Cocoa’s sustainability business. During the past two years, he also headed the design and development of the Olam Farmer Information System, a pioneer smallholder farmer tool designed to work both as an integrated farmer group management system and a data collection, analysis and application tool.

Headshot of Ethan Budiansky

Ethan Budiansky Director of Environment, World Cocoa Foundation

Director of Environment at the World Cocoa Foundation. Ethan Budiansky leads WCF’s overarching strategy on addressing environmental sustainability across the cocoa sector. Heading both the Climate Smart Cocoa Program and the Cocoa and Forest Initiative, he helps cocoa and chocolate companies advance their environmental sustainability commitments, addressing deforestation and the impact of climate change in cocoa growing regions. He also co-leads the Cocoa Livelihoods Program to improve farm-level productivity and the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. Mr. Budiansky has over 15 years of experience in climate change adaptation in agriculture, natural resource management, conservation, agroforestry and international development. He holds a B.A. in Zoology from Connecticut College, a M.A. in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC and a M.A. in Natural Resource Management from the University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Headshot of Buddy Buruku

Buddy Buruku Digital Financial Services Advisor, World Cocoa Foundation and CGAP

Digital Finance Services (DFS) advisor at the World Cocoa Foundation in Ghana. Buddy Buruku’s work focuses on the use of DFS to drive the government’s cashlite agenda and DFS market development as a tool for financial inclusion. Ms. Buruku also specializes in the digitization of payments in agriculture. Ms. Buruku has an MBA from the Wharton School (UPenn), a master's from the Johns Hopkins - Nanjing Center and a BA in East Asian studies from Haverford College, USA. She speaks six languages including Chinese, French, Spanish and some Portuguese.

Nanga Coulibaly Technical Advisor, Conseil du Café-Cacao

Mr. Nanga Coulibaly is Technical Advisor to the Director-General of the Conseil du Café-Cacao, with specific responsibility for engaging with international organizations. Before being named to this post in June 2015, he served for 13 years at the Alliance of Cocoa-Producing Countries (COPAL), where he was head of the Scientific Research Department and later Secretary-General. Before joining COPAL, Mr. Coulibaly worked at Côte d’Ivoire’s National Agronomic Research Center (CNRA) and in other institutions that pre-dated the creation of CNRA, holding various research and administrative positions. He is an agronomic engineer and entomologist by training and has authored a number of scientific research articles. On three different occasions, his efforts have earned him honors from the Ivorian government.

Headshot of Jean-Yves Couloud

Jean-Yves Couloud Value Chains and Private Sector Program Coordinator, CARE International

Value Chains and Private Sector Program Coordinator at CARE International. Jean–Yves Couloud has spent the last 26 years in Rural Development through various projects funded by World Bank, IFAD, WFP, USAID, and WCF. As Value Chains and Private Sector Program Coordinator at CARE International, he ensures the coordination and the supervision of all programs concerning cocoa and other crops implemented by CARE Cote d’Ivoire (programmatic, financial, administrative, personnel). He contributes to the development of CARE Côte d'Ivoire's portfolio by mobilizing financial resources, developing and maintaining partnership relations with actors in cash crops, including cocoa. Jean–Yves Couloud holds his Agronomy Diploma from ENSA (National University of Agronomy) of Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.

Headshot of Stephanie Daniels

Stephanie Daniels Senior Program Director for Agriculture & Development, the Sustainable Food Lab

Senior Program Director for Agriculture & Development at the Sustainable Food Lab. Ms. Daniels leads the Lab’s current partnerships on the Living Income Community of Practice, the USAID Climate Smart Ag Learning Community and the Business Action on Food Loss & Waste. Her background is in the cocoa sector in supply chain management and inclusive business. She holds a B.S. Environmental Science/Wildlife Biology, a M.A. International Development and Organizational Management, and is currently a fellow in the Academy for Systems Change.

Headshot of Mayesse Da Silva

Mayesse Da Silva Soil Scientist, International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Soil Scientist at International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in the Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes Research Area. Mayesse Da Silva received a B.S. degree in Forest Engineering from Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Brazil and holds a PhD in Soil Science through a joint program between UFLA and Purdue University, United States. Her research includes soil mapping and monitoring of soil spatial variability in the landscapes, soil carbon and water assessments, GIS, land use planning, landscape restoration, and watershed management. Dr. Da Silva maps and models landscape-soil-hydrology relationships to develop quantitative predictable patterns reflected by soil morphology. She has worked on developing a hydrological assessment and water management recommendations for Cacao and leading several projects on the implementation of Digital Soil Mapping approaches to enhance sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services.

Headshot of Nicko Debenham

Nicko Debenham Vice President, Head of Sustainability, Barry Callebaut

Vice President, Head of Sustainability at Barry Callebaut, Managing Director of Biolands Group, and Chairman to the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, Nicko Debenham helps guide Barry Callebaut's Forever Chocolate Initiative. Mr. Debenham brings more than 30 years of experience working on the cocoa value chain. In the 1980’s, he learned the business from scratch, working directly with cocoa farmers. He possesses unique expertise in sustainable development within the cocoa industry, in collaboration with governments, partners and NGO’s worldwide. Mr. Debenham plays a key role in bringing together pioneering knowledge from the cocoa industry to lead the strategic direction of the sustainability development programs, benefiting cocoa farmers’ families and their communities around the world.

Headshot of Nira Desai

Nira Desai Senior Director of Strategy & Learning, World Cocoa Foundation

Senior Director of Strategy and Learning at the World Cocoa Foundation. Nira S. Desai serves as the Senior Director, Strategy & Learning, where she leads overarching strategy and business planning for WCF, as well as the knowledge and learning function. Ms. Desai also leads CocoaAction in West Africa and Brazil. CocoaAction brings the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies together with governments and key stakeholders to accelerate sustainability and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. Ms. Desai brings over 15 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, where she has specialized in building multi-stakeholder partnerships to amplify impact. She holds a BA in government and politics and a BS in marketing from the University of Maryland (USA) and an MBA with a concentration in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge (UK).

Headshot of Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias Vice-Board Chair, Bioversity International

Vice-Board Chair at Bioversity International, Associate Professor at the University of Brasilia’s Department of Ecology, Senior Advisor on biodiversity policies for the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, member of the Advisory Committee of the Future Earth global research program on sustainability, president of the Global Council of Birdlife International, member of the board of Life Institute, and member of the advisory committee of the Sustainable Amazon Foundation. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from February 2012 to February 2017 where he played a key role to promote the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. He was Research Leader and Division Chief of the Ecological Research Station of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), where he worked from 1978 until 2011.

Headshot of Marcelo Furtado

Marcelo Furtado Chair of the Board, World Resources Institute, Brazil

Chair of the Board of World Resources Institute Brazil, Member of the Estrategic Group of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forest, and Agriculture, Executive Director of Alana Foundation, and co-Founder of Believe.Earth. Marcelo Furtado is a member of the strategic committee and served as the facilitator of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate Forest and Agriculture from 2016 to June 2018, a multistakeholder forum with representatives from academia, business and civil society to implement a just and sustainable a low carbon economy. In the past he has also worked as Executive Director at Arapyau Institute and Executive Director of Greenpeace Brazil, a Policy Advisor at Greenpeace International. Before joining the non-profit sector, Mr. Furtado worked in the chemical industry and as a consultant on the field of technology and innovation. He is a chemical engineer by training with a master’s degree in renewable energy.

Headshot of Isaac Donkor

Isaac Donkor Cocoa Farmer, Asankrangwa, Ghana

Cocoa farmer in Asankrangwa in the Western South Cocoa Region of Ghana. Isaac Donkor developed passion for cocoa farming 12 years ago and has since been expanding the size of his cocoa farm ever since. He cultivates a cocoa farm in Nyame Nnae – New York, a farming community in Asankrangwa District. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from University of Ghana, Legon. His passion to encourage young people to go into cocoa farming motivated him to form the Nyame Nnae Youth-In-Cocoa Association where he has mobilized young rural farmers to form the Professional Pollinators-Group to render services to cocoa farmers.

Headshot of Dominique Gangneux

Dominique Gangneux Principal Consultant, South Pole

Principal Consultant at South Pole. Dominique Gangneux helps companies to develop and implement Sustainable Supply Chain strategies and performance improvement programs. Mr. Gangneux has worked for 20 years in the field of sustainability consulting and assurance in the UK and globally – most recently at Rainforest Alliance leading its Market Transformation team, and previously as a sustainability consultant at ERM, Deloitte, and Bureau Veritas. He has worked across a number of sectors including retail, consumer goods, and agrifood. He has delivered leading work to companies such as Danone, Doehler, Interface, Kraft Heinz, L’Oréal, Lidl, Mondi, Nespresso, Olam, Rolls-Royce, Sainsbury’s, SSE, Teekanne, Tesco, Unilever, and Vodafone.

Headshot of Victor Ganoza

Victor Ganoza Country Director, TechnoServe

Country Director at TechnoServe Peru. Victor Ganoza oversees cocoa and coffee projects in Alternative Development areas of Peru. TechnoServe projects are aimed at providing sustainable solutions to farmers through productivity increase, access to finance, linkages to market and climate change resiliency. Over the past seven years, TechnoServe has provided innovative on-the-field methodologies to substantially increase incomes for 20,000 cocoa farmers and their families as they transition towards a licit economy.

Headshot of Joost Gorter

Joost Gorter Director of Sector Transformation, NewForesight

Director of Sector Transformation at NewForesight, a strategy consulting firm based in the Netherlands. NewForesight has a track record of nearly a decade in working on sustainability strategies in the cocoa sector, most prominently through CocoaAction. Joost Gorter has been involved in developing most of these strategies, working with the World Cocoa Foundation in Brazil and West Africa, the Cocoa Sustainability Partnership in Indonesia, and a range of other clients from corporates to NGOs, sustainability standards and governments. Besides cocoa, Mr. Gorter has led sector transformation initiatives across the spectrum of agri-commodities and developed several analytical approaches to analyze and improve sustainability interventions. Before joining NewForesight, he had a career in international development with the World Bank, UN and a range of bilateral donors.

Headshot of Clau Guimarães

Clau Guimarães Representative, TRECC Jacobs Foundation

Representative from TRECC Jacobs Foundation. Clau Guimarães has worked for over 20 years in areas ranging from poverty alleviation to social entrepreneurship, with organizations as diverse as Greenpeace, CARE, AVINA and Ashoka. Ms. Guimarães has focused her efforts in the last ten years on education as a tool for development. Collaborating with Jacobs Foundation (JF) in Latin America since 2008, she has worked closely with JF’s partners in the region, developing youth life skills and employability programs. More recently, she has been managing JF’s investments into enhancing quality education in the public systems of three Brazilian states in partnership with Instituto Aliança. Passionate about the history and the culture of cocoa, she is an avid follower of news and developments in the field.

Headshot of Eunice Gutzeit

Eunice Gutzeit Entrepreneur and Cocoa Grower, Panorama Farm

Entrepreneur and cocoa grower Eunice Gutzeit has extensive experience as a cocoa grower in the Amazon region at Panorama Farm located in the municipality of Uruará in Pará state. She is an entrepreneur in the food import sector including for retail and export of Amazonian products. She is currently working to produce fine cocoa and open new markets for Amazonian cocoa. Ms. Gutzeit has a graduate degree in business management and foreign trade from FMU University in São Paulo.

Headshot of Petra Heid

Petra Heid Head of Sustainability & Communication, Chocolats Halba

Head of Sustainability & Communication at Chocolats Halba. Petra Heid has 20 years of experience and broad interdisciplinary knowledge in the area of cocoa sustainability and certification of the whole cocoa value chain and in other soft commodities. She actively participates in several committees that deal with sustainability in the cocoa supply chain including the working group climate resilience and biodiversity of the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa. She received her master's degree in Geo-ecology from University of Beyreuth.

Headshot of Alicia Herrera

Alicia Herrera President, COCAU

President of the Cooperativa Cacaotera Agroindustrial Uchiza (COCAU). Alicia Herrera lives in the district of Uchiza, province of Tocache, department of San Martin (Peru). As the eldest daughter of coca growers, she decided to leave coca fields to grow cocoa. She now owns 17 hectares of farm land inherited by her family, which are divided into 3 and a half hectares of cocoa, the rest is used to grow oil palm, a fish farm, and a clonal cocoa garden to continue obtaining new varieties of cocoa. A year ago she became a member of the Peru Cacao Alliance and participated in the Schools of Excellence in Productivity where she became a Technology Agent, being a reference for technological innovation in agriculture in her community.

Headshot of Vico Iasi

Vico Iasi Editor-in-Chief and Presenter, Globo Rural

Editor-in-chief and presenter at Globo Rural. Vico Iasi is a journalist and Doctor in Information and Communication Sciences, from Paris University. He was born in São Paulo and has been working for twenty-three years at Globo Rural on TV Globo - the main agricultural TV show in Brazilian television. Throughout his life, he has made hundreds of documentaries in all Brazilian states and many other countries in the Americas and Europe.

Headshot of José Iturrios

José Iturrios National Director, Peru Cacao Alliance

National Director of the Peru Cacao Alliance. José Iturrios is an economist who has in-depth experience promoting the development of private sector companies as a vehicle to eradicate poverty. With more than 28 years of experience designing and implementing social projects with inclusive business approach and rural development strategies. He has been working with international cooperation agencies for over 18 years, such as USAID and GIZ (German Cooperation Agency in Peru). He worked as COP in USAID's Poverty Reduction and Alleviation project (PRA) from 2006 and 2013. Mr. Iturrios has a Master’s degrees in Economics from the Iowa State University and is a graduate in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

Headshot of Brahima Yves Koné

Brahima Yves Koné Director General, Conseil du Café Cacao

Director General of the Conseil du Café Cacao (CCC). 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 Julienne Assoko Kouadio

Julienne Assoko Kouadio Cocoa Farmer, Literacy Instructor

Cocoa Farmer in Abengourou, Côte d'Ivoire and Literacy Instructor, Ms. Kouadio was recently consulted to provide advice on gender issues in cocoa communities. She is a graduate of the Fairtrade Woman School of Leadership.

Headshot of Catherine Yah Kouakou

Catherine Yah Kouakou Cocoa Farmer, Facilitator, Procacao, SCAEK Co-op

Cocoa Farmer, Facilitator for the Procacao - GIZ project, and Community Leader at SCAEK Co-op-CA. Ms. Kouakou graduated with a two-year technical degree in agriculture and cooperation. She is a graduate of the Fairtrade Woman School of Leadership.

Headshot of Joseph Larrose

Joseph Larrose Group Director for Sustainability, Touton

Group Director for Sustainability at Touton. Mr. Larrose is in charge of delivering Touton's sustainability ambitions across the company's cocoa, coffee, and ingredients departments. He designed and developed Touton's Sustainable Cocoa Strategy, including the company's Rural Service Center and Climate Smart Cocoa programs. Mr. Larrose is actively involved in various sector initiatives such as the CEN/ISO norm on traceable and sustainable cocoa and the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. He holds an Executive MS in Management from HEC Paris and a Master's in Law and Development.

Headshot of Guilherme Leal

Guilherme Leal Co-Founder, Dengo

A Brazilian social entrepreneur, founder, and co-chairman of the board of Natura, a leading Brazilian cosmetics company, which owns the British beauty brand The Body Shop and the Australian Aesop. Mr. Leal is also the co-founder of Brazilian chocolate company and WCF member Dengo. He is an investor in impact businesses in areas such as forestry management, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and urban management. Since 2008, he has been engaged in creating Instituto Arapyaú, a private family foundation committed to supporting sustainable development through the articulation of organizations and leadership to help promote a transition for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world.

Headshot of Uilson Lopes

Uilson Lopes Field Cacao Breeder, Cacao Research and Extension Center

Field cacao breeder at the Cacao Research and Extension Center, Brazil (CEPEX, CEPLAC). For the last 30 years, Uilson Lopes has coordinated or participated in international projects aiming to develop cacao varieties for farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia; and in breeder trainings. Currently he is focused on preventive breeding against diseases, using genomic tools and conventional breeding, and in the development of high yielding and high-quality cacao varieties with several on-station and on-farm trials. He has collaborated with the CEPEX team on the development of cacao and rubber tree varieties for agroforestry systems. He has co-advised several Brazilian and other Latin American MS/PhD students focused on cacao breeding. He has a PhD in quantitative genetics and breeding from the University of Florida.

Headshot of Blairo Borges Maggi

Blairo Borges Maggi Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply, Government of Brazil

Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA) for the Government of Brazil. Blairo Maggi was the governor of Mato Grosso State from 2003-2010, elected for the Senate in 2011, where he resigned in 2016 to take over the MAPA position. Mr. Maggi is an agronomist and originated the current Amaggi Group, one of the largest soybean conglomerates in Brazil with additional businesses in various areas such as logistics, livestock, and electric energy. He graduated from the Federal University of Paraná.

Headshot of Gerard A. Manley

Gerard A. Manley Chief Executive Officer, Olam Cocoa

Chief Executive Officer of Olam Cocoa. Gerard Manley 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 Cocoa Action. 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. For ED&F Man he held Directorships in the UK, Poland and Malaysia. He managed the product trading operations with significant responsibility for the Group’s processing operations. He has been with Olam for the past 20 years. He has a BA Honors in Geography and holds an MBA from the City University in London.

Headshot of Jean-Philippe Marelli

Jean-Philippe Marelli Pest and Disease Management Director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Pest and Disease Management Director at Mars Wrigley Confectionery. Jean-Philippe Marelli has a distinguished academic career, obtaining his undergraduate degree in Agronomy at the Institut National Polytechnique in Toulouse, France, his Masters in Science from Imperial College U.K., an international MBA in Project Management from FGV University in São Paulo, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. After his post-doc, he joined Mars, Incorporated in 2009 as a plant scientist at the Mars Center for Cocoa Science in Bahia, Brazil, where he became Science Director and led many projects on cocoa breeding, fermentation, and pathology.

Headshot of Daniela Mariuzzo

Daniela Mariuzzo Brazil Country Director, IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative

Brazil Country Director at IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative. Daniela Mariuzzo implements the IDH Sustainable Landscape Program in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Ms. Mariuzzo has more than 18 years of experience in coordinating relations with NGOs, governmental, and private organizations. Before joining IDH she served as Head of CSR for Rabobank International and for Monsanto Brazil. She was chair of the Board for the Brazilian Working Group on Sustainable Cattle Farming (GTPS), co-founding this initiative together with IFC. She also represented the financial sector in UNEP FI meetings, and acted as Member in the Stakeholder Council of ISEAL Alliance; Monsanto Brazil Sustainability Committee, and Executive Board of RTRS.

Headshot of Sathyamurthy Mayilswamy

Sathyamurthy Mayilswamy President & Regional Head, Olam South America

President and Regional Head of Olam South America. Sathyamurthy Mayilswamy worked in the West African cocoa sector for Olam International for 10 years, and then moved to São Paulo in 2007 to head the South America region. At Olam, he has handled and built various businesses such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, edible nuts, grains, spices and dairy over the last two decades. Mr. Mayilswamy has participated in the Harvard Agri Business program and Colombia Business School on line strategic leadership program and is also part of Olam Exco for Sustainability. He holds a PGDRM from Institute of Rural Management, Anand, India and received an agricultural engineering degree from Tamil Nadu Agri University.

Headshot of Tim McCoy

Tim McCoy Vice President of Member & External Relations, World Cocoa Foundation

Vice President for Member & External Relations at the World Cocoa Foundation. Tim McCoy is responsible for all public-facing strategic global communications efforts, including vis-à-vis members, media, donors, governments and other key stakeholders, and manages reputational risk engagement on behalf of the chocolate and cocoa industry. Mr. McCoy also drives WCF’s efforts to recruit new members and retain existing members. He additionally serves as the operational focal point for WCF engagement with other chocolate and cocoa industry associations and organizations in Europe, Japan, North America and Southeast Asia, as well as multilateral organizations and U.S. government agencies. Joining WCF in 2012, Mr. McCoy served as WCF’s acting president from January – July 2016. He brings more than 25 years’ experience in international affairs and political and economic development programs, primarily in Africa. He holds a BA in political science and French from the University of Tennessee (USA), and attended Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). He has visited nearly 60 countries around the world and is fluent in French.

Headshot of Carolina Mejia

Carolina Mejia Project Manager, 12Tree

Project Manager for agroforestry projects at 12Tree. Carolina Mejia has five years of experience in the cocoa industry, with emphasis in plantations design and sustainable post-harvest centers design. She is a structural architect by training, has a diploma as Expert in Sustainable Development, and is LEED GA accredited.

Headshot of Corrado Meotti

Corrado Meotti Director, Sourcing & Sustainability, Barry Callebaut Brazil

Director of Sourcing and Sustainability at Barry Callebaut Brazil. Corrado Meotti has been a cocoa farmer since 2007 and holds a degree in economics and agribusiness.

Guadalupe Intriago Mera President, Agricultural Association La Fortaleza

President of the Agricultural Association La Fortaleza. Guadalupe Intriago Mera is a leading producer of cocoa and has been a member of the Fortaleza del Valle Corporation, Ecuador since its inception in 2005. She is also Secretary and Financial Assistant at the Corporation Fortaleza del Valle. Ms. Mera is a member of the National and International Network of Agroecology and has participated in many workshops and events both nationally and internationally in Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia.

Headshot of Ruth Moloney

Ruth Moloney Owner, Six Point Partners Belize

Owner of an integrated cacao and hydroponic greenhouse operation in Southern Belize, Ruth Moloney has worked all along the cocoa supply chain. She started first as a strategic cocoa buyer for Nestle USA, in trading and sustainability for Armajaro and now on the production side after running a large coconut/citrus operation also in Belize. While at Armajaro she set up St Vincent Cocoa Company and was one of the key architects of the USAID funded Peru Cacao Alliance. Australian by birth, she has a Degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Commerce from the University of New South Wales.

Headshot of Laerte Moraes

Laerte Moraes Managing Director Brazil, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

Laerte Moraes joined Cargill in 2002, where he held several roles including Latin America Technical Manager and Commercial Manager. Before working at Cargill, he worked as a production manager in livestock. Mr. Moraes graduated from the University of São Paulo – Brazil with a degree in Veterinary Studies and received a master's degree in agribusiness management from UFSCar.

Headshot of Guilherme Moura

Guilherme Moura President, Cocoa Sectorial Chamber, Ministry of Agriculture, Brasília

President of the Cocoa Sectorial Chamber at the Ministry of Agriculture in Brasília. Mr. Moura is also president of the Camacan Rural Union in the cocoa-growing region of Camacan, Bahia. Since 2008, he has been the vice president of agricultural development at the Agricultural and Livestock Federation of Bahia State. He is a cocoa grower in Camacan and is an adviser to the Bahia State Council of Environment and Sebraes Deliberative Council. Mr. Moura has a business management degree from Catholic University of Salvador, Bahia and an MBA in agribusiness from the Federal University of Paraná.

Headshot of Donald Nzorubara

Donald Nzorubara Senior Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation

Senior Investment Officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he has worked since 2006. Donald Nzorubara is part of the Agribusiness investment team covering Sub-Saharan Africa. He recently relocated to Washington in the summer of 2018 after spending four years in Abidjan where he was the lead for agribusiness investments in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone. Mr. Nzorubara has an M.S. in Management from EDHEC Business School, a degree in Finance from Sciences Po Paris and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Headshot of Emmanuel Opoku

Emmanuel Opoku Deputy Chief Executive (Operation), Ghana Cocoa Board

Deputy Chief Executive (Operation) at Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Emmanuel Opoku has worked in the cocoa industry since 1992. In his current role he is responsible for leading Ghana's cocoa rehabilitation campaign. He has researched and published academic articles in cocoa socioeconomics. Mr. Opoku recently submitted his latest academic research study, "Strategies for Gaining Certification for Cocoa Bean Production", for the Doctoral Business Administration Award.

Headshot of Cathy Pieters

Cathy Pieters Global Director Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International

Global Director of Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International’s global sustainable cocoa program. Cathy Pieters joined the company in 2007, then known as Kraft Foods, to lead media strategy and buying for the Benelux business before taking the helm of the Côte d’Or and Toblerone brand strategy for growth. Ms. Pieters's leadership of the chocolate brands’ foundations, innovation and communication strategy resulted in the transformation of Côte d’Or into a sustainably sourced chocolate brand – a first for a mainstream chocolate brand.

Headshot of José Carlos Polidoro

José Carlos Polidoro Director General, Embrapa Soils

Director General of Embrapa Soils. José Carlos Polidoro has decades of experience in the field of agronomy, with emphasis on soil fertility, fertilization, and experimental techniques. Mr. Polidoro has a degree in Agronomy from the Federal University of Vicosa, a master's degree in Agricultural Microbiology from the Federal University of Vicosa, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy (Soil Sciences) from the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - Doctor in Plant Production.

Headshot of Johanna Renckens

Johanna Renckens Regional Director, Rikolto

Regional Director of Rikolto in South America (Ecuador and Peru). Johanna Renckens has been working for nearly 30 years in Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Belgium, directing projects and generating multi-actor dialogues on strengthening sustainable value chains, inclusivity, youth and gender, fair trade, rural development and food security. She has a master's degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands.

Headshot of Judy Rodrigues

Judy Rodrigues Executive Director, High Carbon Stock Approach

Executive Director of the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach. The HCS Approach represents a widely recognized practical, field-tested methodology to implement commitments to halt deforestation in the tropics, while ensuring the rights and livelihoods of local peoples are respected. Judy Rodrigues has extensive experience related to responsible sourcing of agricultural commodities linked to deforestation-risks, multi-stakeholder engagement, forest management certification and conservation. She studied natural resource conservation at the University of British Columbia and has a marketing degree from McGill University.

Headshot of Fausto Rodriguez

Fausto Rodriguez Nicaragua Network Facilitator, AMEA

Latin America Director at Rikolto and Nicaragua Network Facilitator at AMEA. Fausto Rodriguez coordinates cocoa and coffee programs in Central and South America and leads Rikolto's Global Cocoa Cluster, including cocoa programs in Asia and Africa. Collaborating with Rikolto since 2010, Mr. Rodriguez has worked in roles such as Regional Program Coordinator in Central America, thematic advisor in Sustainability, Inclusive Business Models, Multi Stakeholder Platforms and Business Development Services. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Project Management from UNITEC, Honduras and a Bachelor's Degree in Agronomy Engineering from Zamorano in Honduras.

Headshot of Rick Scobey

Rick Scobey President, World Cocoa Foundation

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

Headshot of Ana Paula Souza

Ana Paula Souza President, COOPAG Cooperative

President of COOPAG Cooperativa Agrícola Gandu Ltda - an institution that has been involved in the commercialization of small local cocoa producers for 33 years. Ana Paula Souza is a rural producer from the city of Gandu, located in the Southern Bahia Lowlands. She graduated in Zootechnics from the UESB State University of Southwest of Bahia.

Headshot of Henrique Souza

Henrique Souza Cocoa Farmer, Ouro Fino Farm, Jabaquara, Bahia

Cocoa farmer at Ouro Fino Farm in Jabaquara, Bahia, agronomical consultant, pioneer in research and extension of agroforestry systems in various biomes. Henrique Souza has consulted for private companies, institutes, organizations and individual growers in several regions of Brazil and many countries in Latin America and Africa. He has been a speaker at various seminars and symposiums about sintropic agriculture, forests, water and agroforestry systems. Mr. Souza has extensive experience in restoration of degraded areas, implementation and management of agroforestry systems and rural and sustainable development projects. He develops agroforest experimental fields in his own farm, including his model farm and the "caatinga" project in the semi-arid region of Bahia.

Headshot of Boukje Theeuwes

Boukje Theeuwes Senior Policy Advisor, Solidaridad

Responsible for policy and advocacy related to the cocoa programs in Solidaridad’s regional expertise center Europe. Focus is on scaling up and speeding up the transition to sustainable and inclusive supply chains, working on changing policies and practices throughout the entire supply chain from farmers to end-users. She represents Solidaridad in various multi-stakeholder initiatives, public private partnerships and roundtables. She is committed to further strengthen the Women In Cocoa and Chocolate network (WINCC) with the aim of connecting, engaging and inspiring women throughout the value chain. Boukje holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, where she specialized in supply chain management and operations research. Prior to joining Solidaridad, she worked on advancing supply chain sustainability in the electronics industry.

Headshot of Eduardo Trevisan

Eduardo Trevisan Senior Project Manager, Imaflora

Senior Project Manager at Imaflora, leading projects and strategies to being more sustainability on agribusiness commodities like, coffee, cocoa, beef and also local development projects in Brazilian Amazon. Mr. Trevisan's specialities are organizational and project management, sustainability and environmental policy, certification, NGO strategy, negotiating and managing NGO-corporate partnerships, fundraising.

Headshot of Wilson Vaz de Araújo

Wilson Vaz de Araújo Secretary of Agricultural Policy, Ministry of Agriculture, Brazil

Secretary of Agricultural Policy at the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil. Wilson Vas de Araújo was assigned to the secretary position in April 2018. Prior to this, Mr. Vas de Araújo served as Director of Credit and Economic Studies of the Agricultural Policy Secretary (SPA/MAPA) at the Ministry of Agriculture. He has worked at CONAB (Agency in Charge of Warehousing and Crop Estimates), at EMATER/DF (Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Institute of the Federal District) and at CFP (Company of Production Finance). For the past two decades he has been responsible for developing the Agricultural Plan at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA). Wilson is also part of the Network of Leaders of Agricultural Policies of the South Agricultural Council (CAS/REDPA), which gathers Ministers of Agriculture from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay e Uruguay. He is an economist graduated from the Catholic University of Brasília and a Master in Economics by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Headshot of Cristiano Villela

Cristiano Villela Scientific Director, Cocoa Innovation Center-CIC

Scientific Director at the Cocoa Innovation Center-CIC. Cristiano Villela is a biologist, Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology. He worked as a Biotechnology Manager in a multinational company in the chocolate segment, leading the areas of microbiology, plant tissue culture, molecular biology, plant-pathogen interaction. He has solid experience in project management, involving: open innovation, fundraising, knowledge management, sustainability, and competitive intelligence. Integrates the research group of the Genomics and Gene Expression Laboratory at the State University of Santa Cruz.

Headshot of Jon Walker

Jon Walker Senior Advisor Cocoa, Fairtrade International

Senior Advisor Cocoa at Fairtrade International. Jon Walker has worked for Fairtrade since 2013 and leads on strategy formation and coordination of implementation with the members of Fairtrade. Ongoing projects include the West Africa Cocoa Program through which Fairtrade provides services to Fairtrade cooperatives. Jon is a member of the project team working on the implementation of Fairtrade’s Living Income in Cocoa strategy.

Headshot of Nick Weatherill

Nick Weatherill Executive Director, International Cocoa Initiative

Executive Director of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). Nick Weatherill leads the foundation’s efforts to strengthen child protection and tackle child labor in cocoa growing communities. Prior to joining ICI, Mr. Weatherill worked for 17 years in the humanitarian sector, for the European Commission, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and for a number of NGOs.

Headshot of Anne-Marie Yao

Anne-Marie Yao Regional Cocoa Manager & Gender Champion, Fairtrade Africa

Regional Cocoa Manager & Gender Champion at Fairtrade Africa based in Côte d'Ivoire. Anne-Marie Yao joined Fairtrade international as Liaison Officer in 2012 with knowledge of standards and certification and specific working knowledge in cocoa, both from a trade perspective and from working with farmers at the grass root level. She later became Fairtrade Africa’s Business Development Advisor for Cocoa.

Headshot of Susanna Zhu

Susanna Zhu Vice President, U.S. Supply Chain Operations for The Hershey Company

Vice President, U.S. Supply Chain Operations for The Hershey Company. In this role, Susanna Zhu leads the U.S. end to end Supply Chain with a focus on Supply and Demand planning optimization, driving continuous improvement and operational efficiencies, optimizing innovation commercialization, transportation and logistics, packaging, and customer supply chain resources to deliver top line growth and margin expansion. Prior to taking on the US Supply Chain Operations role in September 2018, Ms. Zhu was the Chief Procurement Officer for Hershey. She has 20 years of supply chain and procurement leadership experience across multiple industries. Ms. Zhu joined the Hershey Company in November 2015 from PepsiCo. She has a B.A. in International Finance from Shandong Institute of Economics in China, an MBA from the University of San Diego, and she is a General Management Program graduate from Harvard Business School.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!





Join the Partnership Meeting as a Cocoa Sponsor! WCF’s Partnership Meeting is the only event dedicated to cocoa sustainability and improving farmer livelihoods. Gain visibility and recognition through sponsorship. Email to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.