The International Cocoa Awards were created to raise awareness along the supply chain about cocoa, the ‘fruit of the goods’, and to link cocoa growers with chocolate manufacturers. In order to get a big media resonance of the event, for its 2011 edition, the Salon du Chocolat of Paris invited the general public to attend the prize-giving ceremony of the 3rd edition of the Internatioal Cocoa Awards at the central podium of its public show on 20 October 2011.
Twenty two countries submitted cocoa samples. Of the 119 samples received and analysed (24 from Central America & Caribbean, 43 from South America, 31 from West & Central Africa and 21 from Asia & Pacific), 50 were selected and made into chocolates (13 from Central America-Caribbean, 17 from South America, 13 from West and Central Africa and 7 from Asia-Pacific region). The 50 chocolates went through a blind tasting by a jury of professionals and connaisseurs composed of 17 members a few weeks prior to the Salon du Chocolat. They scored the cocoa/chocolate, sweet, floral, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nutty, spicy and woody notes of each sample. Twelve Cocoa of Excellence Awards were attributed by this first jury, based on these specifics characteristics.
In addition, a second jury composed of chocolate makers, international gastronomy journalists, instititutional representatives and knowledgeable amateurs met during the Salon du Chocolat. Four additional awards, one award per region, were attributed by this jury, based on the overall quality of the chocolates.
Twelve participating countries were represented at the award ceremony. The following producers who provided the entries that best represented the three dominant flavour categories of their region were singled out for recognition:
West and Central Africa
- Cameroon, Magamba, Ngueno François, contact: Chocolate
- Togo, Well-Kopé, Donkor Maxwel, contact: Dried fruit
- Brazil, Bahia, Ilhéus, João Dias Tavares Bisneto, contact: Dried fruit
Central America and the Caribbean
- Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, José Antonio Martinez, contact: Woody
- Trinidad and Tobago, Gran Couva, George Bernard, Montserrat Cocoa Farmers Cooperative, contact: Spicy
South-East Asia and Oceania
- Malaysia, Sarawak, Cyril Anak Langin, contact: Spicy
- Malaysia, Pahang, Raub, Koh Ah Kau, contact: Chocolate
- Papua New Guinea, Kerevat, NGIP/AGMARK, Tokiala Plantation, contact: Dried fruit
Additional Awards attributed by the jury of the Salon