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The 2012 version of Peru's cacao and chocolate salon takes place July 4-8. I'm not connected to the salon in any way, although I may give a presentation, the organizers have yet to confirm.  The website is poor but the link is: 

http://www.salondelcacaoychocolate.pe/index.html

Because I live and work with cacao farmers in the campo here in Peru, I sometimes feel disconnected with the world of chocolate, despite being directly involved in it.  If any chocolate life members are planning to come to Peru for the salon, i'd love to get together, have a chance to speak english, and gain new perspectives on the cacao and chocolate industries.

If anyone has any questions about the salon, peru, or travel to peru, let me know and I'll be glad to help as time and internet connection permits.  I look forward to meeting any intrepid types who make the trip.

brian

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Hi Brian,

I think I emailed you directly. I will be in Lima on the 6th of July. Our Hawaii Chocolate & Cacao Association is active in promoting cacao farming and chocolate production in Hawaii. We'd look forward to meeting and chatting with you.WE are hoping to bring back some inspiration from the travels for our own festival in Hawaii.

Hi Brian, Thanks for this info. I will be in Lima a few days before that after climbing Machu Picchu. Not sure of my exact itinerary but if you're there, it might be nice to grab a coffee and talk chocolate.

Cheers!

Kai Kronfield

Nosh This

Hi Brian, I see that the Cacao and Chocolate salon is back for 2013. Will you be attending? I live in Santiago, Chile and am thinking of traveling to Lima for the salon with the hope of meeting some suppliers who can export quality cacao beans to Chile. In your experience, is the salon a good place to meet cacao suppliers or mainly an end consumer focused chocolate show? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks, mark

Hi Mark, yes I'll be there, they have me giving a presentation on saturday i think.  In previous years it was just as cacao focused as chocolate, and you could certainly speak to most of the heads of the big cooperatives like Acopagro, Sol Verde, Naranjillo, Cepicafe, Ceproaa, etc.  This year it seems to be scaled back, i think USAID has decreased or cut entirely their support, so I get the impression that it might be more consumer chocolate focused this year.  Having said that, there will definitely be at least some cacao people there, and they're always looking for clients.  also the folks from the Ag ministry or Appcacao can connect you to potential suppliers.  

Is this a nature Conservancy project (i looked you up) or are you thinking of getting into chocolate?  or are you already into it?

brian, thanks for the quick and helpful response.  if i end up traveling to Lima i will be sure to let you know, since I would love to have a chance to meet.    this is totally unrelated to my day job with TNC.  years ago i worked with cacao/chocolate in Ecuador and i am thinking of getting back into craft chocolate here in Chile.  veremos....

Mark -

I am going to be attending the Salon this year and I can tell you from the contacts I had with the organizers that there is a specific focus on attracting international visitors to meet with producers in order to stimulate exports. The reason I am going is to talk about sourcing for a project I am working on.

There is, obviously, a consumer side, but there is also a conference program with some technical talks.

I haven't been in previous years, so I can't comment on whether or not USAID/Technoserve involvement is more or less than it has been - but like many things it's about making contacts before you go in order to be able to leverage the time you have there. We are working with the US-based liaison to do just that - make sure our needs are made known before we go down and to start the discussions before we leave the US.

Clay,

Thanks for your thoughts and advice. I have decided to fly up to Lima for the Salon, arriving on Friday AM. Hopefully we will have a chance to meet. As you wisely note, it is always best to seed the clouds before traveling. I sent an note a a couple days ago to an email address that appeared on the salon's website, but have not heard back. Any chance you could share a name and email of the salon's liaison you mentioned?

Cheers,
mg

you can communicate with Stella Coello of USAID at scoello@usaid.gov . One of the key people working on the salon for the Peruvian Ag Ministry got injured and is on bed rest and Stella has stepped in to fill some of her duties while she recovers.  Stella speaks english and can put you in touch with the right people to "seed the clouds"

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