IVORY COAST – With the recently relocated International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) headquarters from London to Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, the ICCO is poised to deliver more on its goals.

The ICCO headquarters were moved to the world leading cocoa producer, Ivory Coast, in July 2017, which has been describe by the global organization as a “turning point that will bear fruit in the years to come.”

According to data from ICCO, Africa accounts for almost 76% of world cocoa output, experts have argued it makes sense to have the headquarters located closer to production to ensure better information flows to and from producers.

ICCO consultant, information and media, Michael Segal, told Confectionery Production, that the move better places the administration to make African grassroots contacts.

“The headquarters are now closer to the countries producing the world’s cocoa that include in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Togo.

“As a result, we will have better intelligence about the dynamics of cocoa supply, which will feed into the statistics and market information that we prepare for our member countries,” Michael said.

Currently ICCO counts of a robust administration composed of office of executive director, a finance division and an economics and statistics division employed under local and international contracts.

ICCO banks on having the right information to enable the organisation to achieve its core mandate as stipulated under the 2010 International Cocoa Agreement; to supply accurate market information and boost cocoa quality and sustainability.

Michael notes that this improved analysis feeds into its reports and policy-making: “As an intergovernmental organisation, we primarily offer services to our member countries” primarily in the form of our statistics and its analysis of the cocoa market.

ICCO has been providing data on global trends in the cocoa and confectionery sector that global confectionery and bakery market finds valuable.

US-based Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) executive director Bill Guyton affirms that the relocation of ICCO headquarters to Cote d’Ivoire is a move in the right direction.

He told Confectionery Production that the future direction of the ICCO was in good shape “as long as the organisation follows a clearly defined strategic plan and continues to engage with different stakeholders in the cocoa value chain.”

“The ICCO has an important role to convene government representatives from cocoa producing and consuming countries,” Mr Guyton adds.

The organisation also organises World Cocoa Conference, as a bi-annual event that the ICCO has been facilitaing since 2012, fulfilling the its mandate to act as a forum for all strategic cocoa matters.