Patrick Poirrier, CEO of the family-owned chocolate manufacturer CÉMOI, is the first French person to receive the ISM Award, presented Feb. 2 during the 50th edition of ISM.

Founded in 1814, CÉMOI is France's No. 1 chocolate manufacturer. Today, the company extends France's chocolate tradition to 50 countries with the corporate philosophy of implementing sustainable chocolate. It is also reflected by the "Transparence Cacao" program.

"I am delighted at winning this prize and am particularly proud of the entire CÉMOI team, because without their services I wouldn't be standing here today,” said Poirrier, representing the third generation to manage the company. “I am also proud of the cocoa farmers, who are partners of our ‘Transparence Cacao’ program and thus contribute towards the success of the French chocolate manufacturer.”

CÉMOI has been a partner for the sustainable development of chocolate for over 20 years. The company introduced "Transparence Cacao" in 2015. From the farmer through to the consumer, CÉMOI asserts itself for the provision of quality chocolate, which is based on the strict criteria: the traceability of the cocoa, aromatic quality, quality of life for the farmer and environmental protection. 

CÉMOI works in close contact with producers onsite in order to ensure sustainable production in all areas from which the company sources its deliveries. Targeted action plans are implemented in partnership with local cooperatives in order to receive the best cocoa under the best conditions, both in terms of the human aspects, where the living conditions of the local communities are improved, as well as in ecological terms, particularly by combating deforestation.

CÉMOI introduced its first organic series of chocolate last April and is working alongside the consumer brand "C'est qui le Patron?" for the production of fair and sustainable chocolate.

Previous ISM award winners include:
Herman Goelitz Rowland Sr.
Chairman of the Board, Jelly Belly Candy Co., USA

Felix Richterich
Proprietor and CEO of Ricola AG, Switzerland

James N. Walker
Walkers Shortbread, Great Britain

Gota Morinaga
Representative Director, Representative Chairman, Morinaga Co. Ltd., Japan

Dylan Lauren
Founder and owner of Dylan’s Candy Bar, USA

Hermann Bühlbecker
Lambertz group owner, Germany