The International Cocoa Awards – Cocoa of Excellence Ceremony will be held October 28 at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Hosted every two years by Bioversity International and Event International, the Cocoa of Excellence Programme will recognize various types of cocoa for their quality.

And the competition is stiff. The cocoa is selected from 146 samples received from 25 countries. And 50 have been selected to be processed into chocolate, with 17 eventually earning an International Cocoa Award.

The Cocoa of Excellence Programme recognizes quality cocoa as well as its origins. It is the only event in the world that celebrates the work of cocoa farmers as well as the rich expression of the cocoa itself. The event celebrates the diversity of cocoa flavors from around the world.

Aside from rewarding farmers for their work, the event seeks to encourage collaboration by fostering relationships between producers of quality cocoa and manufacturers of specialty chocolate products. It also exposes manufacturers and consumers to the broad spectrum of flavors that exist in cocoa as a result of varying conditions in the different countries of origin.

Ultimately, the goal is to provide acknowledgement for quality work. In doing so, the event hopes to stimulate the capacity of producing countries to search for, evaluate and produce specialty cocoa.