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  • January 11, 2021 10:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brad Kintzer President of the Board, FCIA Dear FCIA Colleagues,

    This month marks the midterm of my two-year appointment as FCIA Board President. It is an honor for me to be part of this distinguished trade association, representing the very best in the chocolate industry. Fellow officers Lauren Adler, Dan Domingo, and I look forward to working with the newly elected board this year. Together, we will continue to provide strategic direction and build on the strong foundation of our outgoing board. At the top of FCIA’s agenda will be developing new initiatives in a “post-COVID economy” as we recover and grow our businesses. We are planning virtual and hybrid conferences, educational webinars, online sales platforms, and many other support services to help connect and advance the fine chocolate market.

    To hear more about our 2021 plans, please make sure to join the new board members, committee chairs, and FCIA staff on January 28 at 1 pm ET during FCIA’s Membership Assembly Meeting. This one-hour meeting will directly follow Sander Wolf’s presentation “Think Outside the Booth: Maximize Your Chocolate Festival Experience”. As a reminder, FCIA Membership Assemblies are open to all active members.

    Despite the COVID pandemic, FCIA continues to grow. I am pleased to report that during the last quarter of 2020, FCIA added 18 new companies and professionals. At present, we have over 300 members including cacao farmers, chocolate makers, chocolatiers, ingredient suppliers, packaging and equipment suppliers, pastry chefs, marketers, specialty retailers, wholesalers, and festival organizers. FCIA is the only professional trade association dedicated 100% to the support and promotion of fine chocolate. We rely on membership dues to support operations and programs. Therefore, please make sure and join or renew your membership for 2021 if you have not already done so.

    One of FCIA’s greatest strengths is our ability to innovate and partner with organizations inside and outside our association. In closing, I wanted to share with you some of the major achievements in this area and plans for 2021:

    • FCIA Educational Webinars: One of the pillars of our COVID-19 strategy has been weekly educational webinars, which are offered complimentary to FCIA members. Our members decide on the topics and often are featured in these hour-long sessions attended by roughly 100+ a week. These webinars have opened doors to new partnerships.

    • Trade Shows and Festivals: FCIA has partnered with Specialty Food Live! this month, a virtual trade show which will feature our own “Fine Chocolate Pavilion”. We are also partnering with Chocoa in the Netherlands this coming February, where we will co-host panels for chocolate makers. We are also excited to return to in-person consumer festivals, including the Dallas Chocolate Festival and Northwest Chocolate Festival in 2021.
    • Cocoa Supply Chain Programs: We are very excited about the new partnership with the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) in Latin America and the Caribbean. IAF brings many years of experience working with farming communities and supports over $4million annually in cocoa programs in the region.

    • Market Research: FCIA will partner again with the National Confectioners’ Association (NCA) on a national survey of chocolate consumers this year. We also worked in collaboration with Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI) to share important information on the impact of COVID-19 on fine chocolate sales and the cocoa supply chain in 2020.

    • Online Market Sales and Consumer Education: FCIA launched Make Mine Fine in 2020, which now hosts over 100 company members who offer online sales to consumers. In addition, the site provides education on cocoa-growing countries, chocolate demonstrations and experiences information, and blog posts. Over 15 different partners have co-sponsored the site, with FCIA.

    • Regulatory and Trade: FCIA and NCA co-hosted a regulatory update last year for our members, in partnership with PMCA, RCI, and AACT trade associations. This session touched on several specific and timely topics. Another session will be held in 2021.

    • Cocoa Quality and Flavor Standards: Along with Bioversity International/CIAT, FCIA and select companies have been meeting monthly to develop protocols on cocoa quality standards. Field tests of these standards are now underway in several Latin American Countries.

    I look forward to talking with you in the coming weeks and wish you all the success in the new year!

    Brad Kintzer
    President of the Board, FCIA

  • January 08, 2021 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a part of our Empowering Chocopreneurs webinar series 2021 we are going to focus on Equipment Basics that will help you get the most benefit out of your CocoaTown equipment. We are starting off the series with our melangers.

    We are excited that Chef and Chocolatier Mayari Castellanos of Kakaw Museo and Chololateria Cultural Mexico will be presenting the first webinar for this year - How To Use Melanger.

    Did you know that our customers are still using ECGC-12 melangers after 14 years? Do you want to use your melangers for decades for high ROI? Do you wish you had some basic guidelines and troubleshooting knowledge? If you want to know the secrets for extending the life of the melangers and to have less frustration while operating it, you should register for this webinar.

    During our Melanger Basics webinar you will learn the main uses of the melanger, how to prepare your melanger for use, when and how to load the ingredients, grinding time and temperature, fluidity vs. viscosity and more.

    There will also be time to get your questions answered by Mayari and CocoaTown.

    Please feel free to comment your specific questions about CocoaTown melangers and we will be sure to cover them during the webinar or through our FAQ after the event.

    Join Mayari and CocoaTown as we explore this important piece of the bean to bar process on Saturday January 16, from 12 noon - 2 pm Atlanta time.

    To register please visit https://cocoatown.com/blogs/blog/cocoatown-equipment-basics-series

  • 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 

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

Operations & Membership: Ephi Maglaris / 1.312.771.0181 / Email Ephi


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