This year the ICA organizers have decided to offer Merit Awards to individuals and organizations who have been given back to the chocolate community.
The 2013 Americas Round Merit Award Recipients are:
Outstanding Service to the Fine Chocolate Industry Award
Gary Guittard, Guittard Chocolate, for unique and generous behind–the–scenes support for fine cacao projects.
Bean to Chocolatier Award
Cynthia Leung and David Castellan, Soma Chocolate (Toronto, CA) — for industry–leading integrated bean-to-bar and boutique chocolate retail operations.
Innovative Chocolate Marketing Award
Sunita de Tourreil, Chocolate Garage — for unique and creative support for US craft chocolate makers.
Harold Schmitz, Senior Science Officer, Mars, Inc — for unique and creative support for US craft chocolate makers.
Mott Green Memorial Award for Sustainable Cacao Cooperatives
Edmond Brown, Grenada Chocolate Company — the honorary first award recognizes Edmond's work helping create a model that takes cacao farmers beyond a commodity, adding value through producing finished products.
Women in Chocolate Award
Fran Bigelow, Fran's Chocolates (Seattle, WA) — for her work as a veteran chocolatier, leading the way for women working in fine chocolate.
Cacao Quality Award
Rizek Cacao CxA, Dominican Republic — for their outstanding service to cacao quality and post–harvest processing techniques in the Dominican Republic.