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  • November 27, 2020 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SAVE THE DATE! Chocolate lovers, we have great news for you. After weeks of uncertainty, we can finally announce there will be a Chocoa in February. While you cannot travel to #Amsterdam due to the Covid-related travel restrictions, we bring Chocoa 2021 to you.

    From February 24 - 26, Chocoa takes place virtually featuring the Chocolate Makers' Forum and the Amsterdam Sustainable Cocoa Conference.

    Soon we will share more information on our 2021 program. Until then stay connected and make sure to mark February 24 - 26 in your calendar. If you enjoyed last year's program, you definitely don't want to miss out on Chocoa 2021.

  • November 27, 2020 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a part of CocoaTown's Empowering Chocopreneurs webinar series we are bringing you Post-harvest Processing and its Effects on the Cocoa Bean Quality presented by Dr. Darin Sukha of the Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago.  

    When: Saturday December 12 2020 10:00 AM - 12:00 p.m. E

    This webinar will help cocoa farmers and chocolate makers work together to produce delicious chocolate.  

    Here are the points he will cover in the webinar:

    • What is cocoa quality?
    • What is the relationship between post-harvest processing and quality attributes in cocoa beans?    
    • What are the factors that affect the expression of genetic flavor potential in cocoa? 
    • What can happen when things go wrong in fermentation? 

    To register visit https://cocoatown.com/blogs/blog/post-harvest-processing-effects

    Stay safe and Healthy.

  • November 24, 2020 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The launching of the Fall issue of ReVista on Chocolate features a fun-filled and informative afternoon with panels on chocolate, a tour of a chocolate museum in Mexico and a virtual chocolate tasting.

    Dec 8, 2020 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
    Register for the Webinar

    Download Event Flyer

    Panel 1 - 3-3:45pm
    Chocolate, social justice, and labor
    Moderator: Carla Martin, Harvard University
    Katie Sampeck, Illinois, State University, former DRCLAS Visiting Scholar; Amanda Berlan, De Montfort University

    Panel 2 - 3:45-4:30pm
    Cacao and chocolate business in COVID-19
    Moderator: José López Ganem
    Bill Guyton, Fine Chocolate Industry; Aline Etlicher, Haitian agro-industry

    Chocolate tasting - 4:30-5pm
    Amanda Jo Wildey, manager, El Cacaotal, Peru

    Tour of Mexico's City MUCHO Museo de Chocolate - 5-5:30pm
    with Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain

  • November 18, 2020 10:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After the success of Specialty Food LIVE!, SFA’s first virtual experience this past September, a second virtual event is scheduled for January 19 - 22, 2021. 

    As a Specialty Food Association partner the Fine Chocolate Industry Association will have a pavilion at Specialty Food Live! 2021. This four-day virtual marketplace and event that combines amazing product discovery capabilities with buyer and supplier matchmaking.

    The second iteration of Specialty Food LIVE! will be an all-inclusive digital marketplace event, where members and buyers can conduct business and continue to put specialty food on store shelves, safely and economically.

    This 4-day virtual event will include:

    • Improved SalesMatch functionality and Leads with more information
    • SFA’s Incubator Village and International Pavilions
    • Our new and very popular Virtual Product Tasting Experience sessions
    • New and unique educational programs
    • On-demand chat capabilities and videoconferencing
    • New topic-focused and facilitated share rooms
    • Fun virtual networking events

    DISCOVER a marketplace where SFA members showcase their incredible products
    CONNECT with thousands of buyers from across all channels
    BUY right from the comfort and safety of home

    This is where retailers and manufacturers meet and do business.

    Find Out More About Exhibiting at Specialty Food Live

  • November 16, 2020 4:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, DC -- The Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) is pleased to announce the following board members for the 2021-2022 term:

    Brad Kintzer -- TCHO Chocolate (President)

    Lauren Adler -- Chocolopolis (Vice President)

    Daniel Domingo -- Cocoa Latitudes (Secretary/Treasurer)

    Maricel Presilla -- International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting/Gran Cacao

    Simran Bindra -- Kokoa Kamili, Ltd

    Dahlia Graham -- Fruition Chocolate Works

    Benjamin Figarede -- Valrhona

    Andal Balu - Cocoatown

    Clark Guittard -- Guittard Chocolate Company

    Jean Thompson -- Seattle Chocolate Company

    Greg D’alesandre -- Dandelion Chocolate

    Laura Santo -- Blommer Chocolate Company

    The new board reflects the diversity of FCIA’s growing membership. “We are excited that chocolate makers, chocolatiers, traders, specialty retailers and processors are well represented on our leadership team for the next two years,” stated Bill Guyton, Executive Director.

    In response to the COVID pandemic, FCIA’s current board developed and launched a new consumer facing website earlier this year to promote online sales. Make Mine Fine Marketplace has listings of over 100 chocolate companies and equipment suppliers as well as educational content about fine chocolate and cocoa growing. FCIA also hosts weekly educational webinars on topics tailored for FCIA members and partners.

    FICA is the only organization focused 100% on supporting fine chocolate professionals representing over 300 members. The association promotes the artistry and craftsmanship of the chocolate professional focused on producing superior products made from premium chocolate and natural ingredients. FCIA believes in using best practices in cacao processing and chocolate production; and transparent labeling and marketing practices. For more information on FCIA, please visit: https://www.finechocolateindustry.org

  • November 10, 2020 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCIA Executive Director Bill Guyton was quoted in an article on the BBC website, "Are your favourite foods at risk of extinction?"

    One of the biggest concerns is changes in rainfall, says Bill Guyton, Executive Director of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) and founder of the World Cocoa Foundation. “Since nearly all cocoa is rain-fed, even modest disruptions in weather patterns impact the production and harvest seasons”, he says.

    Read the full article on the BBC website.

  • November 04, 2020 3:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kahkow Culture is the latest segment of an educational approach to Rizek's passion for cacao & chocolate. Chocolate makers and chocolate lovers can immerse in the cacao and chocolate world by enjoying, learning, and participating in the entire process: from the moment cacao is planted, to tasting exquisite chocolate bars, confections and preparations.

    The podcast will be available on all platforms, including: Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Podcast Addict, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio & Castbox. If you have any questions or are interested in collaborating with us, please e-mail us at: info@kahkow.com       

    Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3jBWbBfReWbOHMXNmpRPlm?si=FrgvbnKITFekN8JQoT3_fg      

  • November 03, 2020 5:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Conexion Chocolate is excited to introduce their new weekly Instagram LIVE chat with guest chefs, chocolatiers and chocolate professionals. Anne Boulley, their newest team member and chocolate ambassador will be hosting these one hour chats that will focus on recipes, interviews and techniques used by professionals using Conexion’s line of couverture chocolates. Available to everyone following their Instagram page (instagram.com/ConexionChocolate/) on Thursdays at 2:30pm EST. 

    Anne will also be sharing demonstrations on various chocolate design and preparation techniques. “We want our customers and followers to know that we are engaged with them and supportive of their business and success. We are blessed to be working with some of the highest quality chocolate in the World and excited to share creations that elevate it.”

    Anne Boulley is a chocolatier that discovered a love for chocolate work after her years of food writing, working as a pastry chef and owning her specialty chocolate shop; she also conducted classes for professionals and one-on-one culinary consultations.   Anne joined Conexion Chocolate to be a part of a woman owned business that is focused on sustainable, direct trade fine chocolate. “It’s very important that I associate with people in the business that I admire and respect and ingredients that I can be proud to use and promote. I’ve found that with Conexión Chocolate.” Anne emphasizes. It’s our desire at Conexión Chocolate to bring about a connection between chocolate growers, makers and chocolatiers.

    Visit Conexión Chocolate's website 

  • November 03, 2020 5:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Calling all chocolate lovers! 

    The Northwest Chocolate Festival will take place this weekend, November 7-8, virtually! There is programming from chocolate experts from around the world, sharing their love of chocolate and their expertise through exclusive interviews and workshops. 

    This event is free - click here to join!

    Workshops begin at 10am
    Saturday & Sunday, November 7th & 8th


    View a schedule of events here 

  • October 14, 2020 4:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lauren AdlerBy Lauren Adler, FCIA Board Vice-President, @ChiefChocophile

    A lot has changed since we gathered in San Francisco for Elevate Chocolate in March. It was the last in-person gathering I attended, as I’m sure it was for many of you. San Francisco went into lockdown a few days later, and my hometown, Seattle, quickly followed suit.

    I had no idea at the time that it would be at least a year, possibly longer, before I would see my chocolate friends and colleagues in person again. But thanks to the FCIA’s new webinar series, I haven’t lost touch with you. In fact, the webinars have opened a broader portal into the world of chocolate. From the safety of my desk I’ve visited Ecuador and Peru, I’ve heard the story of Hershey’s acquisitions of Scharffen Berger and Dagoba, I’ve toured the post-harvest processing facility of a cacao company in the DR and I’ve listened to chocolatiers in Ghana talk about doing business in the US and Africa.

    The webinars untethered us. They created an opportunity for us to engage with a broader group of colleagues around the globe. The webinars are a reminder that we need to hear from the diverse voices that make up the fine chocolate industry. We need to make it a priority to be more inclusive in our programming and in our perspective.

    Our virtual membership assembly in August included a panel discussion led by Dr. Kristy Leissle and featuring Andal Balu of CocoaTown and Selassie Atadika of Midunu Chocolate speaking about their experiences as minority-owned businesses. It was an open and honest discussion that illustrated the challenges minorities face in areas that many of us take for granted. A result of their panel is a task force led by Andal to develop concrete actions the FCIA can take to support minority-owned businesses.

    The webinars, the panel discussions, the task force, and our committees are all driven by you, the members. FCIA is a membership organization. We are as good as our membership and those who get involved in helping set the direction of the organization. If you want to contribute to our direction join a committee. Let Bill Guyton, the FCIA Executive Director, know if you would like to join one of our existing committees, which include Education, Supply Chain Value, Membership and Communications or join the task force on minority-owned businesses. I joined the Education Committee years ago before I decided to run for a Board seat.

    Living with uncertainty has become a reality for all of us. Some have been able to pivot their businesses to respond to the changing times, but not everyone has been able to do that. I decided to close Chocolopolis after twelve years, a decision I made before COVID. While it is never easy to close a business, the decision can be freeing, giving you time to re-energize as you figure out how you want to engage with chocolate in new ways. Whatever direction you take, FCIA is here to support your business.

    I wish all of you a prosperous holiday season.

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Executive Director / Membership Inquiries: Bill Guyton / 1.206.577.9983 / Email Bill

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