The Dominican Republic was selected to head the International Council of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) for the 2022-2023 cocoa year, at the last meeting of that body held in Montpellier, France.
The director of that Council is Abel Fernandez, commercial manager of Grupo Conacado, who was proposed by Jose Antonio Martinez Rojas, permanent representative of the Dominican Republic to the ICCO.
Fernández’s election was approved by the group of cocoa exporting countries, members of the ICCO, and accepted by the importing countries.
The 37th Extraordinary Meeting of the ICCO International Council, held last December, was attended by Victor Hidalgo Zapata, executive director of the National Cocoa Commission, and Juan Hinojosa Gomez, director of the Cocoa Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.
This is the second time that the Dominican Republic leads the ICCO International Council. The first time was for the cocoa year from October 2001 to September 2002, and it was headed by Martínez Rojas.
The cocoa organization groups cocoa producing and consuming countries that account for 90% of world trade in cocoa, especially fine and flavored cocoa and certified organic cocoa, of which the Dominican Republic is the world’s leading exporter, so this second election to the ICCO International Council is a recognition of our country.
When Martinez Rojas headed the Council, the ICCO headquarters were moved from London, United Kingdom, to the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The International Cocoa Organization was created in 1973 to administer, as an intergovernmental organization, the International Cocoa Agreement of 1972 and subsequent agreements of 1975, 1980, 1993, 2001 and 2010, negotiated by the governments of producing, exporting, consuming and importing countries under the auspices of the United Nations Cocoa Agreement Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
The mandate of the ICCO is to achieve a sustainable world cocoa economy, encompassing the social, economic and environmental dimensions of cocoa production, processing and consumption.
Also, the ICCO’s mandate is to improve the standard of living of cocoa farming communities, while seeking to meet consumer demands for food quality and safety and to address environmental and social issues.
ICCO’s cocoa producing member countries are Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Indonesia, Ghana, Guinea, Dominican Republic, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Congo, Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and Togo.
The importing countries Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Russia and Switzerland are also members of this organization.