Central Italy’s annual Eurochocolate festival will feature chocolate producers from around the world to showcase global chocolate traditions and fair trade products.
Since the first festival in 1994, Eurochocolate has endeavored to highlight Italian and international chocolate traditions. The event attracts thousands of visitors every year to the city of Perugia, now dubbed the city of chocolate.
This year, from October 14 to 23, Eurochocolate invites selected producers in 11 cocoa producing countries around the world. The festival will feature those from Colombia, India, Peru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Togo, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uganda and Madagascar. Eurochocolate named Mexico Country Guest of Honor in recognition of indigenous chocolate traditions.
“We are very satisfied with this participation”, declares Eugenio Guarducci, President of Eurochocolate, “which confirms the authority acquired on an international scale by our event and which lays the foundations for the potential development of concrete collaboration between the two countries on the supply of cocoa and chocolate. Chains.”
Mexico’s tourism secretary for Tabasco, José Antonio Nieves Rodríguez, said the exhibit presents “the opportunity to become a great way for Italians to learn about the history and culture of cocoa and chocolate.”
Producers will share their values of quality and sustainability through fair trade chocolate products, emphasizing tradition alongside contemporary values of social and economic sustainability. Visitors can find the producers at the Chocolate Experience pavilion, where they offer tastings, learning experiences and products for sale.
ChocoTogo is one of the producers presented at Eurochocolate. Created in 2014 as the first cocoa processing company in Togo, the cooperative works to reconnect farmers to the rest of the value chain. “Even cocoa farmers had never eaten chocolate,” Eric Agbokou, founder of ChocoTogo, told Food Tank. “We wanted to make chocolate available in our own country.”
For ChocoTogo, bridging the cocoa supply chain means creating jobs to support the local economy. “We want to give farmers back their dignity,” says Agbokou. ChocoTogo works on this by maintaining direct contracts with the national union of cocoa producers, which increases traceability. Many of these relationships involve family farms of one to two hectares.
Through their work, ChocoTogo hopes to benefit women in particular. “We employ our mothers and older wives because they don’t have the opportunity to apply for jobs. Nobody will accept them,” Agbokou told Food Tank. “We want to create a paradise for them.” He adds that they are also doing what they can to reinvest in the community, pouring profits into local development projects, including implementing solar power and building schools.
ChocoTogo, along with the other international producers, brings to Eurochocolate 2022 global perspectives on local traditions of chocolate making. “We want to show where chocolate comes from,” Agbokou told Food Tank.
Articles like the one you just read are made possible by the generosity of Food Tank members. Can we count on you to be part of our growing movement? Become a member today by clicking here.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons