School of Business

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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

Salon Series 2: A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?

“A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?” is the second event in a series that takes a comprehensive look at how various policies, practices and future challenges facing the global cocoa industry affect what can be done to promote peaceful cocoa production. We consider areas of overlapping interests across the cocoa supply-chain, exploring feasible cross-sector collaborations in the process. In our first event, Tim McCollum from Madecasse Chocolate, Joe Whinney of Theo Chocolate, and Mike Godfrey from Rainforest Alliance shared their knowledge, history, and experience working in the cocoa industry. Themes touched upon during the event included: promoting peace through business; issues of poverty and economics of cocoa farming; and, cocoa certification as a possible solution to addressing problems in the industry.

Our second event in the series will explore how changes in the way cocoa is grown, harvested, processed and marketed could promote peace. Our guests will be Han de Groot, Executive Director, UTZ Certified, Daniele Giovannucci, CEO, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), Alex Whitmore, Co-Founder, Taza Chocolate, and Dary Goodrich Chocolate Products Manager, Equal Exchange. They will share their knowledge and experience in the industry.

Over the last decade, the global cocoa industry has drawn negative attention by claims of its association with forced labor and human trafficking, environmental damage, and limited economic ‘spillover’ for local farmers. At the same time, global demand for certified cocoa continues to expand. These challenges are being addressed to varying degrees by governments, international agencies, corporations, associations, investors, NGOs and community organizations. Our goal is to have an authentic and unrestrained dialog with these multi-sector stakeholders to address five key questions:

  1. What are the challenges and trade-offs of responsible cocoa sourcing?
  2. What is the impact of certification on communities where cocoa is grown?
  3. What is the impact of public-private partnership programs on cocoa growing communities?
  4. What is the market for cocoa products that meet higher, certified standards?
  5. Can consumer demand effectively lead us toward addressing these issues?

In addition, a survey of GWU students related to these issues will be conducted by ICR and the responses will inform our discussions.

We are excited to have a diverse group of experts join us for this discussion!

This event is an activity of the ICR Responsible Global Commodities Initiative.

Date of Show: April 23 (Wednesday) 10:30 am

Han de Groot, Executive Director, UTZ Certified
Daniele Giovannucci, CEO, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)
Alex Whitmore, Co-Founder, Taza Chocolate
Dary Goodrich, Chocolate Products Manager, Equal Exchange

Dr. John Forrer, Associate Director, ICR, GW School of Business

Webcast of Salon Series I: A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?