Log in

Members, log in to access Member-Only Section

In the News

  • June 26, 2020 1:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    An article in Adweek examines the changes in shopping habits over the last two months. The study found "the majority of consumers are willing to nix their tried and true brands for a competitors in order to get what they want when they need it."

    Additionally a recent Harris poll cited 43% of participants would continue online grocery shopping once the pandemic ends. "As more shoppers move online, brands need to prioritize digital shelf initiatives such as content upgrades and promotions, and will need to improve the e-commerce shopping experience by optimizing supply chain flexibility."

    Adweek Article

  • May 04, 2020 4:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCIA has been working with the international cocoa and chocolate industries and development organizations on an initiative to support cocoa farming communities impacted by COVID19. In Ecuador, FICA has partnered with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and other organizations to provide relief supplies and health training.

    Companies or individuals are welcome to join this effort by contributing directly to LWR: Donate to Help WCF and FCIA Stope the Spread of Covid-19 

    Press release in English

    Press release in Spanish

  • April 28, 2020 11:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join Candy Industry for a conversation with Pam Williams about the impact of COVID-19 on small, independent chocolate businesses. We discuss some of the creative ways that businesses have pivoted to stay open and sell products, as well as tips for getting through these challenging times.  Pam is the founder and lead instructor of Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts, a culinary school now in its 17th year dedicated to the art and science of making fine chocolate.

  • April 24, 2020 10:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CocoaTown is currently offering a 15% discount to FCIA customers for orders placed with them through May 15, 2020 to help during COVID-19 closures and restrictions. Please visit CocoaTown's website or contact them to take advantage of this special 15% discount. Please use code FCCT235 for the 15% discount.

  • April 13, 2020 1:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by John Kehoe, Value Chain Committee Chair and Director of Sustainability, Guittard Chocolate; and Bill Guyton, FCIA Executive Director

    As the COVID19 pandemic hits cocoa producing countries, our work as an organization, as companies, and as individuals with our value chain partners, cooperatives and farmers is more important than ever. In Latin America and the Caribbean, many cocoa crops are just beginning with their countries in lockdown and buying networks stopped or functioning on minimal operations and with great precautions.

    FCIA’s value chain programs with the USDA are particularly important now. We are working closely with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) implementers of the cocoa program under the USDA MOCCA project (Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa and Coffee in the Americas) in Ecuador, Peru, Honduras and Guatemala. With on-farm trainings on hold, LWR has opted in the short run not to print and distribute COVID-19 safety materials directly to farmers. Instead, they are sharing educational recommendations on social media and WhatsApp groups that were already established through the MOCCA program. These WhatsApp groups are the network of trainers that have been organized in four Latin American cocoa-producing countries. LWR is using this platform to receive updates from the field and provide recommendations about the pandemic. Here are examples of messages already being used.


    LWR is also organizing direct humanitarian aid to cocoa farmers in the hard it area of Guayas. LWR has shipped two containers of material resources to Ecuador for cocoa farming communities including: Quilts (6,000 units), Blankets (600 units), School kits (5,040 units), Personal care kits (5,600 units) and Baby care kits (3,000 units). This donation is being managed directly by LWR and the union of cocoa cooperatives UNOCACE. LWR will work with UNOCACE to distribute materials safely to people at risk. If your company would like to donate to these efforts to pay for other supplies such as chlorine for water or masks, please contact us so that we can put you in direct contact with our partners.

    We are also proud to be working with the CNFA MOCA project in the Ivory Coast (Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity) where Ivorian cocoa farmers and cooperatives are learning best practices to produce premium quality cocoa for the fine chocolate market. Project implementers CNFA partnered with FCIA and the World Cocoa Foundation’s Africa Cocoa Initiative on a Quality Flavor Symposium in Abidjan that was schedule for late March and will be rescheduled for the fall.

    We are excited to have initiated a proposal together with our sister organization, the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund to USAID to support work with cocoa farmers in Madagascar through an RFP (request for proposals) for their private sector Global Development Alliance HEARTH facility.

    All of us appreciate the importance of high-quality cocoa and being able to communicate effectively with our suppliers to improve flavor and consistency. FCIA and member companies have been working for a number of years towards the development of international standards for cocoa quality and flavor assessment that will facilitate that process. Draft protocols for public review for all processes through cocoa liquor flavor assessment are now available through cocoaqualitystandards.org. Chocolate flavor assessment and tempering will follow. We encourage all of our members to download and critique these documents so they become stronger and better serve their purpose of “A common language for a clear communication throughout the cocoa value chain.”

    The Value Chain Committee is open to all interested members. We meet during the FCIA Elevate Chocolate events, often with guest speakers. We hold webinars and calls throughout the year. For more information and to get involved, please reach out to me or our Executive Director, Bill Guyton.

  • April 13, 2020 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCIA members are adapting their business practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the category of equipment suppliers and distributors, FCIA companies are actively moving toward and enhancing their online sales and training courses for chocolate makers. There is also an expanding market for consumers who would like to try making chocolates from their homes. Distributors are helping deliver equipment and packaging to commercial and residential addresses. All of these measures are helping to support the fine chocolate segment of the chocolate industry, even during these difficult times.

    As a food product machinery manufacturer Savage Brothers remains open as an essential business during this time and is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. We are all in this together and are happy to work with our customers during these difficult times.

    We at CocoaTown are trying our best to keep our employees safe while making sure the customers get their orders shipped. We are opening the office for few hours a week to fulfill the pending orders. We are providing customer service from our homes through email, phone calls and Skype as much as we can during normal hours. Stay safe and Healthy.

    “Loka Samastha Sukhino Bavanthu” -- “May all beings everywhere in the universe be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

    Below is a list of websites of our members offering training and online equipment sales:

    CocoaTown (cocoatown.com/shop)
    15% discount for FCIA members for any orders placed directly with CocoaTown between now and May 31, 2020. Please use coupon code CV19FC20 to get the discount.

    indi chocolate (indichocolate.com)
    indi chocolate has pivoted business from teaching classes and holding events in their chocolate factory in Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market to teaching the world how to make chocolate at home. They will be launching their first Virtual Make Chocolate at Home Masterclass on May 2nd that includes the equipment, ingredients and instructions to make chocolate at home.

    Rockgate Group, including Packint Chocolate Machines, Tecnochoc, Gami, Rollermac (www.rockgate.com)
    Rockgate Group is deeply concerned about the sustainability of the fine chocolate industry, and for this reason has implemented a series of measures to help chocolate makers keep their production ongoing, with online demos and training, remote assistance and installation of new chocolate lines, even with augmented reality tools. In particular the members of Rockgate offer a series of discounts and financing programs for new equipment.

    Safranne Chocolate Moulds Co. (www.safranne.com)
    Both 275 x 175 mm and 275 x 135 mm mould sizes with personalized projects of valuable FCIA members. Prices include design, tool, quantity, plus shipping to anywhere in the USA.
    20 - 49 pcs: $1,550 usd
    50 - 99 pcs: $1,650 usd

    Savage Bros. (www.savagebros.com)
    Contact to discuss details.

    TCF Sales (www.tcfsales.com)
    We are doing our best to support commerce through online orders and buying locally in non-traditional methods. For our customers, we are offering lower prices and special financing options, including a deferred payment plan for up to 6 months. We recently responded to a supplier request for a volume purchase with modified upfront terms to help retain employees and prevent a production line interruption, and in return received a nice discount that we will pass directly to our customers who purchase in the near future. See https://www.tcfsales.com/products/1537-chocolate-mould-cooling-cabinet-refrigerator.

  • April 13, 2020 10:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Lauren Adler, @ChiefChocophile

    Lauren AdlerThis is a stressful time for all of us. From concerns about our health and the health of our employees to concerns about the financial stressors of COVID-19 we have a lot of things to keep us up at night. At Chocolopolis we’ve been able to keep our doors open in a modified fashion, which has helped with the financial stress of this situation. Something that’s been a complete surprise to us is the significant spike in online orders for chocolate. I wanted to share the trends we’ve seen in hopes that it might help my fellow FCIA members.

    Before I share our experiences selling chocolate online I wanted to say that I understand that many of you have had to shut down production and retail operations. My heart goes out to you and to your teams and I hope that you will be able to start up again soon, if the conditions are safe. For those of you still open, I expect, like us, you’ve had to modify operations with social distancing and lots of disinfecting. I never thought I would use so much rubbing alcohol, but it’s my new staple and I hope it’s yours as well.

    So what’s selling? Chocolate bundles crafted around an experience. While the bundles we offer have been on our website for years, we’ve seen a significant spike in their sales since the quarantines started.

    It should be no great surprise that people are looking for experiences to share. Not only with their families in quarantine but with friends and colleagues online. For example, one customer sent a bundle of bars to one of her employees so that when they have their next virtual one-on-one they can share a bar and talk about it (she bought a bundle for herself, too).

    How do you create a successful chocolate bundle experience? It’s all about the content. Create content that’s personal to you and your chocolate and share it in a way that’s interesting to customers. For example, if you’re a chocolate maker you could gather 3 bars from your collection that you think go well as a tasting bundle and write a personal note to include in the bundle explaining why you chose this grouping of bars. Another idea is to use your own rituals to create a group of bars or confections that has a personal touch to it. How do you taste chocolate? What methodologies or techniques work for you? Create a letter that shares your personal ritual and perhaps includes a sheet that you might use yourself when taking tasting notes.

    These are just a few ideas to get you started. At the end of the day the content you create needs to reflect you and your company. Make sure to check out FCIA's new Make Mine Fine marketplace, a place where consumers can discover and connect with FCIA members who have a chocolate retail operation. If you’re a member who sells chocolate to consumers and you don’t see your company listed, please email Executive Director Bill Guyton with your information.

  • April 13, 2020 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Dan Domingo, Committee Chair, FCIA Board Member and Treasurer

    2020 is proving to be a transformative year for FCIA as we adapt to the new business environment resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a description of how the year started, where we are now, and a future path forward.

    The First Quarter 2020 Started Strong: Two Successful FCIA Events

    Our initial plans in 2020 started on track. We developed a new partnership with the Fancy Food Show in both San Francisco and New York and prepared for a separate Elevate Chocolate event. In January, the Specialty Foods Association offered us an FCIA Fine Chocolate Pavilion and a stage area for demonstrations, pairings, tastings, and other member-led presentations on fine chocolate in San Francisco. Over 25 company members had kiosks in the pavilion. This was a huge step forward for FCIA and paved the way for collaboration on other Fancy Food Show events.

    In early March, FCIA hosted Elevate Chocolate at the Palace of Fine Arts, the day before the Craft Chocolate Experience. Despite some obstacles, the event had the highest attendance of any FCIA winter event. The partnership with a consumer-facing festival allowed our members the ability to sell product to cover their costs and promote your brands. Elevate Chocolate included some dynamic general session speakers and 10 exceptional workshops. The summary report will be sent to you on April 23. Thanks to all of the sponsors, speakers and attendees!

    Adapting in the Age of Corona

    As we left San Francisco in March, news of coronavirus was becoming increasingly serious. FCIA spent the following week refocusing our efforts to help our members through these difficult times. Bill Guyton established relations with the Small Business Administration regarding the disaster assistance programs for the United States. He sent out detailed information on the application process to members in an email a few days ago. Additionally, FCIA partnered with the Specialty Food Association on a webinar on Friday, April 3 featuring the legal team from Arent Fox LLP entitled “Learn from the Experts: CARES Act Loans and Grant for Small Business.” If you would like additional information or the transcript from this session, please contact Bill. A second webinar on loan applications is being planned within the next two weeks, so keep an eye on your inbox if you would like to participate.

    The second initiative was building a consumer-facing website called Make Mine Fine: FCIA Fine Chocolate Online Marketplace. This was done in partnership with FCIA’s marketing and communications committee to highlight our member companies who offer online sales.

    While we understand these are difficult and busy times for everyone, we will continue to work and provide meaningful and relevant educational content for members as best we can throughout the year.

    Future In-Person FCIA Events

    No one is certain exactly when we will be able to resume fine chocolate events and festivals. Many have been canceled or postponed through the summer, including the Summer Fancy Food Show that had been planned for June in New York City. FCIA is working with organizers on a new dates for the Ecuador Cocoa and Chocolate Summit, which we are now planning for late September in Quito, Ecuador. We are also excited to announce a new partnership with the Salon du Chocolat NY for their November 14-15, 2020 event. FCIA’s role will be to provide educational content to that program. We negotiated a 20% discount for our members who exhibit at the event. This has already proven to be a great win-win collaboration. FCIA hopes to develop similar models of collaboration with other trade shows and festivals in the US and abroad.

    Thanks to all of our committee members and staff who are working hard to provide valuable services to our members through these educational opportunities and events.

  • April 13, 2020 9:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCIA member Joanne Law, Founder of Deershop Chocolate in Hong Kong, gave a presentation on behalf of FCIA at the Annual Craft Chocolate and Coffee Exhibition organized by Cafex in Shanghai, in November 2019. She thanks FCIA's communications committee for helping her develop the content for her presentation, which was very well received by the audience.

  • April 13, 2020 9:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear FCIA Members and Partners,

    Brad KintzerAs the global spread of COVID-19 continues, I hope this letter finds you and your families safe during this extraordinarily difficult time. Late last year, I was elected by the Board of Directors to replace Clark Guittard, who successfully completed his term but will continue on as a board member. I am joined by Lauren Adler, FCIA Board Vice President and Dan Domingo as Secretary/Treasurer. Our twelve-member board has set an ambitious agenda for this year, which includes stronger internal alignment and greater outreach to our partners. I am excited to be working with Bill Guyton, FCIA Executive Director, to implement this agenda.

    As the newly elected President, one of my greatest hopes is that the fine chocolate community finds ways to forge deeper collaborations between all the remarkably talented and passionate people that make up our community, from farmer to blogger. Working together, we can better ensure the future success of our collective interest: bringing a higher quality cacao and chocolate experience to the world. FCIA’s 300 plus members include fine flavor cacao farmers, chocolate makers, chocolatiers, ingredient suppliers, packaging and equipment suppliers, pastry chefs, marketers, specialty retailers, wholesalers, and festival organizers. Let’s all work together while celebrating the talents that each of us bring to fine chocolate.

    Since our March Elevate Chocolate event, we have all had to re-envision how to move forward in our industry as the COVID19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all our businesses and lives. FCIA’s board has proactively worked to adapt and refocus plans to serve our company members’ needs during this difficult time. Bill Guyton has been reaching out to members individually for feedback on our new plans. We have identified three priorities which include:

    1. FCIA’s Make Mine Fine marketplace, to help promote online chocolate sales;
    2. Information and advice on accessing small business loans and grants for struggling companies; and
    3. Online Resource Center, which will be supported and funded with our partners.

    We welcome your feedback on these initiatives and are grateful for any additional suggestions.

    Key to our success are the many partners of FCIA. Within the chocolate industry, we have formed alliances with several other trade associations representing varied segments of the broader confectionery industry. These include the National Confectioners’ Association (NCA), PMCA, the World Cocoa Foundation, the Cocoa Merchants Association of America, and the Specialty Food Association, to name a few.

    Through our combined interests on supporting cocoa farmers and the value chain, we have developed a strong partnership with USDA and partners in Latin America and Africa. We are also in discussions with USAID and other development agencies to identify common interests.

    FCIA also appreciates our alliances with festival organizers and conference planners including Fancy Food Show, Salon du Chocolat, NW Chocolate Festival, Craft Chocolate Experience and the Dallas Chocolate Show, among others. These trade shows and festivals are core to the success of our member companies in promoting and selling their products.

    Lastly, we applaud our university, NGOs and research institute partners including Pennsylvania State University, UC Davis, the Fine Chocolate and Cocoa Institute (FCCI) at Harvard, Bioversity and others. These organizations conduct studies and provide invaluable insights on the fine chocolate industry.

    I personally wish you all the best during these rare times, and I hope we all emerge with sharpened skills and strengthened partnerships so our world of fine chocolate can continue to be there to provide the world with some much needed flavors, solace and comfort. Despite the challenges we are all facing, I am grateful, excited, and optimistic for our industry, and welcome all to join us in 2020 and the journey ahead.

    Brad Kintzer
    President of the Board, FCIA

© 2020 Fine Chocolate Industry Association. All rights reserved.  Privacy Policy  Site Map

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

Operations & Membership: Ephi Maglaris / 1.312.771.0181 / Email Ephi


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software