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   Contact Information

    The Institute for Corporate Responsibility
    2131 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20052

    Email: Patti Niles
    Phone: 202-994-5206
    Fax: 202-994-5966

Overview of Webcast

Salon Series - Part I: “A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?”
April 26, 2013

The first webcast in our Salon Series discussed the topic of “Conflict Free Chocolate.” Our guests for this program included: Tim McCollum, co-Founder of Madecasse Chocolate, one of the only chocolate companies that produces the entirety of its’ product in Africa; Joe Whinney, founder and CEO of Theo Chocolate, a company that has focused on improving the conditions for the farmers it employs; and Mike Godfrey, vice president of Sustainable Agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance and an expert in international development. In a roundtable discussion, our experts discussed the concept of promoting peace in chocolate producing countries through possible actions that could be undertaken by chocolate manufacturers.

In case you are wondering whether to watch the webcast, here are a few major points our panelists touched upon over the course of their discussion. For those wishing to read a more in depth analysis of the webcast, please download the full summary at the bottom.

    • Impacts the cocoa industry has on these countries societies, economies, and environments.
    • The possibility of creating more value upstream for the farmers could result in a better product downstream for the consumer.
    • Using smaller companies who have a more personal connection with the farmers and local peoples as a model for larger corporations to follow.
    • The implementation of a certification system for the product as a possible solution to addressing these countries challenges.
    • Social entrepreneurs who are willing to take on “development risk,” therefore opening up new locations and new business models for larger investors to use.

Keep posted for our next conversation where we will be looking at the same themes but with different stakeholders, those ‘closer to the ground’ working with farmer groups or co-operatives themselves.

Full Summary