About the European Cocoa Association
The European Cocoa Association (ECA) was launched in April 2000 in response to:
- on-going globalisation
- continuing European political and economic integration,
- growing trend towards more regulation of the industry,
- consolidation in the cocoa industry, and
- the privatisation process taking place in cocoa producing countries.
Indeed, these factors can best be dealt with by a Europe-wide body.
ECA is thus a trade association representing the European cocoa sector and regrouping companies from the entire cocoa industry chain. Members are involved in the cocoa bean trade and processing, in warehousing and in related logistical activities. Some Members grind and process cocoa beans into cocoa liquor - out of which cocoa powder and cocoa butter are produced, as a next step - and some also produce industrial chocolate and/or compounds.
Together, ECA Members represent two-thirds of Europe’s cocoa beans grinding, 50 % of Europe’s industrial chocolate production and 40 % of the world production of cocoa liquor, butter and powder.
ECA also serves as a senior management-level discussion forum for the broad spectrum of companies directly or indirectly related to the cocoa chain.
Strategic direction is given by the Board, which meets several times a year. The ECA is supported by a Brussels-based Secretariat, which will assist in the aims of researching and implementing adequate solutions to any matter affecting the industry. The ECA secretariat has a limited staff but can rely on its members' corporate and company's expertise. Technical issues are dealt with in Working Groups.