October 1st each year has been declared Journée Mondiale du Cacao et du Chocolat (World Cocoa and Chocolate Day) by the Académie Française du Chocolat et de la Confiserie.
The idea for an annual celebration of both cocoa and chocolate follows the decision of the International Cocoa Organization and the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance to establish World Cocoa Day, also on October 1st.
The organizers aim to raise awareness about the work of small-scale cocoa farmers and the need for sustainability and better standards of living.
Millions of families, notably in Africa, rely on cocoa farming for their livelihoods, but they struggle in the face of challenges such as pests and diseases that each year are responsible for the loss of one-third of the crop.
Fair trade initiatives help ensure these families receive a living wage for their work.
World Cocoa Day is already celebrated in 33 cocoa-producing countries.
In France, the joint celebration of cocoa and chocolate has been approved by and placed under the high patronage of President Nicolas Sarkozy, known to be a chocolate lover.
Chocolatiers throughout France, whose livelihoods depend on cocoa farmers, will be marking the day in diverse ways aimed at both educating consumers about the cultivation of cocoa and promoting the consumption of high-quality chocolate.