December News Roundup & AMA | #PodSaveChocolate

December News Roundup & AMA | #PodSaveChocolate

Episode 5 of PodSaveChocolate features a discussion of topics that have shown up in my feeds since the November News RoundUp episode. Plus the monthly #PSC AMA – Ask Me Anything (about cocoa and chocolate).

Where to Watch

December News Roundup & AMA | #PodSaveChocolate
Episode 5 OverviewEvery month I host an episode in which I talk about stories – newsworthy and otherwise – that have come to my attention over the past month…

Click to watch in a new tab or window. Please subscribe (free!) to the @PodSaveChocolate YouTube channel as well as like this video, comment, and share to help grow the #PSC community.

Link to watch and comment from my LinkedIn profile.
Link to watch and comment on TheChocolateLife page on Facebook (live event).

Episode Overview

Every month I host an episode in which I talk about stories – newsworthy and otherwise – that have come to my attention over the past month. This News RoundUp is that episode.

And I will be taking questions, AMA style, from participants during the livestream.

Legacy media covers illegal child labor on cocoa farms in W Africa.
Candy company Mars uses cocoa harvested by kids as young as 5 in Ghana: CBS News investigation
Children in Ghana, some as young as 5, are working cocoa fields and wielding machetes instead of attending school.

IR Advocates filed a new case based on this reporting.

Iconic chocolate brand linked to child labor in Ghana
CBS News traveled across Ghana’s remote cocoa belt and found children working on small subsistence farms that supply U.S. chocolate giant Mars. Foreign corre…

A separate video (YT) on this story.

Updated: That Time When John Oliver Jumped the Shark | TCL LIVE
Episode 144 of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE goes LIVE at 10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, November 7th.

But, cocoa is only a part of a much larger, mostly untold, story

The World’s Broken Food System Costs $12.7 Trillion a Year
The hidden costs of the global food system are equivalent to 10 percent of global GDP, according to new analysis from the United Nations.

  • Most Innovative Food & Beverage Ingredient: EQUII
  • Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient: Arkeon
  • Most Innovative Processing Technology or Technology Platform: NIUM
  • Most Innovative Service or AI Solution Supporting the F&B Industry: Deep Detection
  • Most Innovative Sustainable Solution (Jury's Choice award): Planet A Foods and WNWN Food Labs (two winners in the same category for the first time in this competition).
WNWN: alt.chocolates’ Future? | #PodSaveChocolate
Episode 4 of #PodSaveChocolate features a discussion of alt.chocolate and some opinions about whether or not they could be the future of chocolate. #cacao #cocoa #chocolate
Shining a light on positive change: Meet the finalists of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards
Fi Europe has announced the finalists of the Innovation Awards. From startups to multinationals and non-profits, the finalists showcase the best of the ingredient industry’s efforts to make food and drink products healthier, more sustainable, and more delicious.

The non-startup finalists.

The Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest – the 2024 edition will highlight Hawaiian cocoa and chocolate.
Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest – The largest chocolate and coffee festival in the nation.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (FAO) and 2022 (USDA).

Household Food Security in the United States in 2022 (USDA .PDF)

Drinking coffee can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection ...
Study: Regularly Drinking Coffee Reduces COVID-19 Infection Risk
Daily coffee drinking can reduce the infection risk of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to new research from Taiwan. After conducting in vitro lab testing of human cells,…

Cocoa contains many of the same chemicals ... can there be a connection?

Market News: Top Cocoa Traders Hold Off on Buying in Ivory Coast Over High Prices. Top traders sitting out forward sales because of high prices. Costs of implementing EU-mandated tracking system a concern
Top Cocoa Traders Hold Off on Buying in Ivory Coast Over High Prices
Major cocoa traders are holding off buying beans in top grower Ivory Coast due a standoff on prices and a lack of clarity over who will bear the cost of implementing a newly-mandated traceability system.
Ghana Taps Cocoa Traders for $400 Million as Bank Loans Delayed
Ghana is seeking to borrow $400 million from cocoa traders to finance industry operations as it struggles to secure an annual loan from international banks amid a government debt restructuring.

2024 International Confectionery Awards - Call for Entries
Home page -
About Confectionery aWARDS Introducing the International Confectionery Awards: an awards show that upholds, recognises and celebrates the achievements of those working at the forefront of the confectionery industry. Proudly presented working collaboratively with the must-attend virtual confectionery…

I am the head judge in this awards program.

2024 Craft Chocolat Challenge – Call for Entries
HOME | Craft Chocolat Chall

I am the head judge in this awards program.

World Coffee Research Launches Public Database for Arabica Fingerprinting
World Coffee Research Launches Public Database for Arabica Fingerprinting
World Coffee Research (WCR) late last week announced the launch of a publicly available database designed to make genetic fingerprinting of arabica coffee varieties more accessible. The database is…

We need one of these for cocoa – for all varieties.

Swedish telecoms company Tele2 has developed a connected chocolate box that sends a notification to your phone when the lid is opened. The connected chocolate box is available for consumers to win through a social media competition. 

The connected box, dubbed “Chocolate Bytes,” helps avoid that last-minute dash to the shop by discovering the praline thief in good time before Christmas. A sensor detects if the lid is opened, triggering a notification to your phone. You can be at work and be alerted to any family members sneaking a piece. 

Mentioned During the Livestream

How Big Chocolate is taking over – and the smaller brands that are fighting back
The sale of Hotel Chocolat for £534m may look mouth-watering but it’s a reminder that the world of niche chocolatiers is far from sweet
Holiday Tour Day 1: The Chocolate Life and Chocolat Bonnat
Welcome to the first annual Cacao Muse Holiday Tour!

PodSaveChocolate Commitments

In every episode of PodSaveChocolate I ask my guests and all participants (participating live or after the fact) to identify something they will commit to – this day, next week, next month, and next year to save chocolate. I hold myself to this task.

What I will commit to from this episode: There is a lot of value that can be derived from an open-access database of cocoa genetics (private databases exist) for fingerprinting and other uses. This is something I will work toward with International Cocoa Diplomacy.

Homework for Participants

What commitment will you make to the Pod Save Chocolate mission? Let us know in the comments below.

Episode Hashtags

#News #AMA
#Arkeon #EQUII #Nium #WNWN #PlanetA
#cocoa #cacao #cacau
#chocolate #chocolat
#PodSaveChocolate #PodSaveChoc #PSC
#LaVidaCocoa #TheChocolateLife

#TheChocolateLifeLIVE Archive

To read an archived post and find the links to watch archived episodes, click on the bookmark card, below.

#TheChocolateLifeLIVE Archive
News, views, and conversations on topics in cocoa and chocolate streamed live to YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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