Cocoa Association of Asia appoints new Chairman

Cocoa Association of Asia appoints new Chairman and executive committee

Members of the Cocoa Association of Asia (CAA) have elected Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s Commercial Director for Asia-Pacific, Alvin Lee, as the new chairman of the Association for the next two years, beginning 21 January 2021. Prior to his election, Lee had been serving on the Executive Committee of the Association since 2015 as its Secretary.

Mr Quek Ngee Chuan, Vice President Cocoa Division of Olam International Ltd will continue serving as the association’s Vice Chairman, Mr Amit Suri, General Manager at Wilmar Group for Cocoa and Chocolate and Africa as Secretary and Mr Gerald Abwerzger, Chief Executive Officer at Von Alm Pte Ltd as Treasurer.  The four will form the new CAA Executive Committee.

Alvin has been intricately involved with the food and cocoa industry throughout his career. In his current role based in Singapore, Alvin leads Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s trading, risk management and international physical sourcing efforts across the Asia-Pacific region. He is also responsible for product line and margin management of the Group’s state-of-the-art cocoa processing asset in Gresik, Indonesia. Before joining Cargill in early 2015, Alvin handled regional dairy sourcing and risk management responsibilities for Kerry Ingredients. Prior to that, he worked for ADM Cocoa in both Singapore and the United States in a variety of trading and sourcing roles.

Commenting on his new role: “I’m honored to be taking on the Chairmanship for the CAA and excited to carry on the excellent work laid by my predecessor. The previous exco has left a solid foundation for our new exco to build upon and we look forward to bringing the Association & its membership to new heights while continuing to champion and promote consumption of what is arguably the world’s most delicious ingredient in the region and beyond. We will continue to advocate for our growing membership’s varied needs and strive to be a positive contributor to the cocoa & chocolate industry globally through more initiatives and collaboration,” said Lee.

Richard Fahey, who has been the association’s Chairman since 2014 also shared said: “It has been a great honor to serve as Chairman of CAA and I am confident that Alvin and the new Exco will continue to build on the momentum we have built the last couple of years.  CAA is without a doubt the leading cocoa association in the region and I am proud of all the new initiatives that were launched during my tenure — The CAA International Cocoa Conference and Dinner, the collaboration with Singapore Management University on our Cocoa Academy, and most importantly, the strong partnership we have developed with Enterprise Singapore.  The LEAD Funding that we were granted from Enterprise Singapore really changed the trajectory of CAA, as it allowed us to pursue additional programming and to truly professionalize CAA with the hiring of full-time staff.  So, as I step back from my role as Chairman, I would like to thank all of the members and partners who were active in helping transform CAA to what it is today.  We are lucky to work in a great industry, and the collaboration I have witnessed within CAA and in the greater Asian cocoa and chocolate community has been fantastic to watch and experience.”

Other key CAA staff changes 

CAA Executive Director, Mr Marc Donaldson, will be leaving CAA as of April 2021Donaldson joined CAA as its first full-time employee in 2019 and was instrumental in building the partnership with Enterprise Singapore and expanding CAA’s presence within and outside the Asia region.  The CAA Exco would like to thank Donaldson for his dedication and professionalism over the past years.

CAA Marketing Manager, Mdm Shirley Choo, will assume the role of Director, Marketing and Operations, with immediate effect, taking up responsibility for the day-to-day operations of CAA. Choo joined CAA in 2019 and has been the force behind all of the CAA marketing initiatives ever since.  She expanded CAA’s presence on social media, oversaw the re-launch of the CAA website, and is the Project Manager for the upcoming 2021 CAA International Cocoa Conference and Dinner, scheduled for November 2021 in Singapore.  Going forward, all communications to CAA should be directed to Mdm Shirley Choo.


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Media contact

Kiran Grewal
Editor, International Confectionery

Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922

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