Martin Short starts his new role today as the President of the WCF, a leading organisation in the cocoa industry, with a membership that spans the industry, including cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies. The WCF can claim to represent more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market.

Mr Short takes over from Richard Scobey during a tumultuous time in the industry. The organisations first stated strategic objective is to see the prosperity of cocoa farmers, yet with a slump in demand and the associated impact to farmers, this should be one of his first challenges.

The British national, who has had a long career in both non-profits and private companies, has his work cut out for him as he will need to balance the needs of farmers with the demands of the chocolate companies who also form part of the WCF’s membership. His experience working across non-profits and private companies will be valuable, and we wish him success in his role. The press release is below.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 2, 2021 – The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has appointed Martin Short as its new President to lead efforts by cocoa and chocolate companies to make the cocoa supply chain sustainable by raising farmer incomes, fighting child labor, and ending deforestation. Short’s appointment is effective from September 7, 2021.

A British national, Short joins WCF after holding leadership positions in the non-profit and private sectors. His most recent position was as Chief Executive Officer at The Power of Nutrition, a United Kingdom and U.S.-based non-profit. It works in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to improve nutritional welfare and the care of children under five-years old as well as for mothers of a birthing age. Short previously held leadership positions at UBS Group AG, a Swiss multinational investment bank and Lions Head Global Partners, a frontier and emerging market investment bank.

I am both honored and delighted to be joining the World Cocoa Foundation at this decisive moment as there is a great opportunity to make important strides in bringing sustainability to all aspects of the cocoa supply chain,” Short said. “WCF plays a critical role in the convening of governments, companies, civil society and cocoa-growing communities around collective action and a shared vision. I therefore look forward to leading it to achieve its objective of a thriving and sustainable cocoa sector, where farmers prosper, communities are empowered, and the planet is healthy.

WCF Chairman Barry Parkin, who led the search process, noted that Short’s appointment comes at an important time for sustainability efforts by cocoa and chocolate companies. Cocoa prices are under pressure amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has undermined farmer incomes.

Public-private efforts to stop deforestation and restore degraded lands have advanced but further progress is needed. Company and government efforts to combat child labor have shown they work and need to be expanded significantly. In addition, consuming countries are considering legislation that will seek to address some of the inequalities within the cocoa supply chain and the World Cocoa Foundation will be working closely with its industry partner associations to ensure these new regulations are workable, efficient, and effective.

As a leader in the private and non-profit sectors, Martin has shown that collaboration and partnerships produce results, and this will be critical to further WCF’s strategy of driving change through collective action,” said Parkin“Martin has a deep understanding of value chains in public and private sectors and the interlinkages between sectors that impact lives and livelihoods. This will be crucial in the years ahead to achieve measurable advances for cocoa-growing communities around the world and I look forward to working with Martin to take the work of WCF to the next level.

Short was selected as WCF President after a global search organized by executive search firm Spencer Stuart and managed by a search committee made up of WCF Board members. He replaces Richard Scobey, who left WCF on May 1, 2021, to become the Executive Director of the environmental organization TRAFFIC.

About WCF:

WCF works with governments, the private sector, civil society, and cocoa-growing communities on public-private initiatives to make the cocoa sector sustainable. WCF’s members include chocolate manufacturers, cocoa processors, supply chain companies, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s activities benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas.

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