Dear colleagues & friends
On behalf of the 2021 CAA exco, a happy new year to all of you and many thanks for the support you have shown in electing us to represent you in the coming years. I hope the new year has been kind to you all so far, and that better things lie on the horizon for all of us.
Enough has been said about 2020 but I want to highlight the fact that whatever it threw at us, we as an industry have shown collective resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, and the experience I know will lend itself well as we continue to strive towards greater things in the cocoa & chocolate space here in Asia Pacific.
The CAA’s journey in 2020 was no exception – we had to postpone our 2nd international cocoa conference (twice!), a huge downer given the intense preparation & planning that had already taken place for that but we bounced back nicely by holding successfully a nearly 400-person webinar as well as the first Cocoa Academy with SMU. The CAA also worked tirelessly (thank you Shirley & Marc) throughout the year on more bread & butter issues – advocating on behalf of member companies with various government bodies around the globe to ensure that our interests were considered and that supply of the world’s most delicious ingredient was not adversely impacted.
The CAA has been on a dynamic path of growth over the last few years and we want to keep that going in 2021. We have the FCC training course set for end of February and this will be quickly followed by the very exciting “for members by members” initiative come end March where Filhet-Allard will conduct an introduction to Maritime Insurance for the membership. We have other members working with us to confirm more programs later in the year and we encourage anyone with something to share to approach us to see how it can be lined up. We also have our 2nd international cocoa conference slated for November (fingers crossed!) and new course offerings to be launched together with our partner SMU. Our Asian pricing benchmark is also due to go live to the public this year and we’re confident that it will bring about even more positive exposure and focus to our membership. Finally, the creation of “CAADIGITAL” will continue to see the association’s digital transformation journey take centre stage, cultivating a hybrid-multichannel platform to engage with members and industry stakeholders globally as the “new normal”.
Our strength and ability to influence as an association is ultimately down to all of you as members. The more active our members are (and the more diverse members we have), the greater our knowledge and voice will be. That we have new member companies represented on the current exco is another fantastic development that we will continue to encourage. As the operating environment becomes more complex, we also want to have formal committees in the realm of sustainability, food safety & regulatory at the CAA to help our membership navigate these issues correctly.
The new exco has already started working on what we hope will be some positive changes for the association but we want to hear from you on what else we can help with. We look forward to the day where we can all catch up again in person but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We will again count on your collective support to do the best for our industry here in Asia and take the CAA together to greater heights!