My Personal Journey in the World of Cocoa

May 26, 2016 by Franklin Franco

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, only a few hours away from where you can find one of the world’s best quality cocoa, I was familiarized with the world of cocoa from a very early age. From middle school history classes, where we learned the importance of Cocoa during Spanish colonial times, to road trips and family vacations, where I had the experience of walking through plantations of two of the main types of cocoa -- Criollo and Trinitario, I must admit that I have always had a very personal relationship with cocoa.

It was not however until a few years ago that I got really interested in the industry. It was not a coincidence that Venezuelan Chocolate makers and small local brands, reacting to the decrease of gourmet chocolate imports, increased the production of top quality products with 100% Venezuelan Cocoa.

Nine months ago, I had the opportunity to join Barry Callebaut’s Graduate Trainee Program as a Supply Chain Trainee – a decision I made that felt very natural for me. Within a month, I switched from consumer goods to the cocoa and chocolate business. My journey started in a Chilean Chocolate Factory, dealing with chocolate manufacturing, logistics and sales processes. Now seven months later, I am starting a new assignment in Ilheus, Brazil, where I will be involved with the Cocoa plantations, processing and supply chain.

I will be attending CHOCOVISION 2016 as one of the Graduate Trainees representing Barry Callebaut’s Millennials. I hope to take advantage of this great opportunity to hear firsthand the opinions of senior business leaders and key stakeholders in the cocoa business, as well as engage and participate in the debates and discussions on key business topics of an industry and product I know and hold so close to me.

Franklin Franco

Franklin is our 4th Millennial sharing his expectations for Chocovision 2016! Have a comment? Share with us below or you can tweet it to us @Chocovision_Org!