Solidaridad launches Women in Cocoa & Chocolate Network

“Each woman should lift up another woman”, Madame Toure-Litsé stated during the launch of the Women in Cocoa & Chocolate (WINCC) network. To support women, Solidaridad has launched WINCC at the third World Cocoa Conference in the Dominican Republic with the aim of connecting and engaging women throughout the cocoa and chocolate chain. Solidaridad hopes women can inspire each other and increase their sphere of influence to take the lead in changing the industry. Solidaridad received an award from the International Cocoa Organization for initiating the WINCC network.

Top women leaders in panel discussion

The panel discussion was moderated by food and chocolate journalist Simran Sethi, who led a lively discussion with three women in leadership positions: Madame Toure-Litsé – Director General of the Cocoa & Coffee Council of Côte d'Ivoire, Cathy Pieters – Director Cocoa Life Program at Mondelez International and Maricel Presilla –  award-winning chef, author and culinary historian. Feedback during the discussion included reactions such as “more confidence, more recognition for contributions by women is still needed”, “if you invest in women empowerment you empower the whole family”, “women empowerment is now higher on the agenda, which is an achievement”.

Why a women’s network?

While women play a big role in the production of cocoa and the consumption of chocolate, they have little influence in the sector. It’s time to change that.

We should stop only talking about women in the cocoa fields, and start talking about what we as women can do throughout the supply chain. Collectively we can encourage and empower women leadership.” – Beatrice Moulianitaki – Initiator of WINCC, cocoa programme manager for Solidaridad

What comes next?

Through a digital platform on LinkedIn, women can connect, sign up for annual events and participate in professional working groups.