Plenary Speakers, Panellists & Moderators


Mr Jim Rogers

Investment Expert and Author


Jim Rogers, a native of Demopolis, Alabama, is an author, financial commentator, adventurer, and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Business Times, The Straits Times and many media outlets worldwide. He has also appeared as a regular commentator and columnist in various media and has been a professor at Columbia University.


After attending Yale and Oxford University, Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund, a global-investment partnership. During the next 10 years, the portfolio gained 4200%, while the S&P rose less than 50%. Rogers then decided to retire – at age 37. Continuing to manage his own portfolio, Rogers kept busy serving as a full professor of finance at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and, in 1989 and 1990, as the moderator of WCBS’s ‘The Dreyfus Roundtable’ and FNN’s ‘The Profit Motive with Jim Rogers’.


In 1990-1992, Rogers fulfilled his lifelong dream: motorcycling 100,000 miles across six continents, a feat that landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records. As a private investor, he constantly analyzed the countries through which he traveled for investment ideas. He chronicled his one-of-a-kind journey in Investment Biker: On the Road with Jim Rogers. Jim also embarked on a Millennium Adventure in 1999. He traveled for 3 years on his round-the-world, Guinness World Record journey. It was his 3rd Guinness Record. Passing through 116 countries, he covered more than 245,000 kilometers, which he recounted in his book Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip. His book, Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably In The World’s Best Market, was published in 2004. Another of his books A Bull in China describes his experiences in China as well as the changes and opportunities there. His recent book A Gift to My Children is a heartfelt, indispensable guide for his daughters (as well as for all adults and children) to find success and happiness. His latest memoir Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets was published in February 2013.


Mr Euan Mann

Complete Commodity Solutions


As an analyst at ED&F Man, he helped to establish coffee crop forecasting operations in Vietnam and Brazil, in addition to working with field teams based in the cocoa areas of West Africa. When ED&F Man bought Volcafe in 2003, Euan became the Senior Coffee Analyst for the combined group. In 2006, he moved to a more commercial role, helping to set up ED&F Man Derivatives Advisors (MDA), a financial services business offering options-based strategies to end-users and investors in the commodities sector.


In 2010, he founded Complete Commodity Solutions (CCS) to explore independent opportunities in soft commodities analysis. Initially, he was contracted exclusively to Cadbury Plc as Head of Global Commodity Analysis, advising on group hedging strategy.


Upon completion of this contract, CCS began to expand its client base to include commodity merchants, food producers, and commodity hedge funds. This breadth of experience gives him a unique perspective.


Euan is also a member of the ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks, an observer at the ICO Statistics Committee, and regularly speaks at industry conferences. He has consulted as an expert to The World Bank and to the commodities division of the NYSE Liffe Commodities Exchange.


Manfred Borer

PT KOLTIVA Indonesia


Manfred lives and works since 2007 in Indonesia and has been involved in cocoa development initiatives for the last eight years. Under his leadership as Swisscontact Country Director he brought together twelve cocoa and chocolate companies with more than 100,000 smallholder cocoa farmers within the Sustainable Cocoa Production Program.


2013-2015 Manfred was chairing the Sustainable Cocoa Partnership CSP and leading the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture PISAgro cocoa working group from 2013-2017. He is a member of the consultative board to the world cocoa economy at the ICCO.


In August 2017, Manfred left Swisscontact and joined PT Koliva, a successful Agri-Tech startup based in Jakarta which evolved from SCPP, as its chairman of the board.


Manfred grew up on a farm in Switzerland and founded a construction company after an apprenticeship as carpenter. Before joining Swisscontact, he graduated as a Business Process Manager with an Engineer Degree from the University of Applied Sciences, majoring Plant Management.


Geana Barbosa

Head of Sales,
Euromonitor International


Geana is a market research leader and an energetic ambassador of curiosity in business. In her 6 years with Euromonitor International, she lead different teams from client consultants to solution designers, helping clients to find answers to their most complex business questions. Brazilian, she spent most of her career in Euromonitor in Chile, helping global and regional clients to grow in the constant changing Latin American landscape. Now, based in Singapore, Geana is diving in the Asia Pacific specific challenges connecting Euromonitor’s global teams to the Eastern World astonishing business scenario.


In recent years, Geana had the opportunity to work in research assessments for cocoa manufacturers, chocolate manufacturers and export promotion boards focusing on growth through value added cocoa exports. On the other hand, Geana always tries to bring back those conversations to a wider spectrum of analysis, going beyond the industry per se and suggesting frameworks that also consider consumers and economies fronts as imminent drivers of trends.


Before Euromonitor, Geana worked in the B2B and Consumer Goods industries, including companies such as Unilever, Dow Chemical and Anglo American.
Geana holds a mass communication degree from Faculdade Casper Libero, in Brazil, a Specialization in Marketing and Sales from Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Chile and a Master in Business Administration from Durham University, UK.


Ms Pam Thornton

Portfolio Manager,
Armajaro Group


PAM THORNTON is an “old school” physical commodity trader who has crossed over to the dark side and now works with a specialized fund as a portfolio manager. An experienced physical trader, she puts a strong emphasis on origin research and regularly undertakes treks at origin in the belief that most years it is production expectations that are the key drivers of the cocoa price. Currently, Pam works for the Armajaro Group helping develop trading strategies for their CC+ fund which trades a diverse group of agricultural futures and options. Prior to setting up Armajaro’s U.S. office in 2003 she ran the U.S. cocoa trading operations of Phibro and Louis Dreyfus. She is a former Chairperson of the CMAA, and a long-time member of both ICE’s Cocoa Committee and the ICCO’s “expert” panel. She studied economics at Cambridge University.


Mr Bas Smit

Global Marketing Director,
Barry Callebaut


Before joining Barry Callebaut end of 2014, Bas has been working at Unilever for 17 years, across multiple disciplines (ranging from Finance, Customer Development to Marketing), covering different regions (Benelux, Western Europe, Russia & CIS countries). As such, he gained extensive experience within the Food Service and Retail Market, whilst leading and coaching multicultural teams.


Bas holds a Master of Science degree in Operational Research and Statistics of the University of Technology in Eindhoven, He studied Mathematics and Econometrics at the Technical University in Karlsruhe and finally achieved a Post Doctorate in Brand Management at the University of Groningen.


Mr Harold Poelma

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate


Harold was appointed as president for Cargill’s global cocoa & chocolate activities in January of 2016. Since June 2012 he was managing director for Cargill Refined Oils Europe. Prior to this, he was managing director of Cargill’s cocoa activities in Europe, Africa and Asia. He has worked in the cocoa industry for Cargill in the Netherlands since 2001. He joined Cargill in 1987 and has held various management positions in Cargill‘s refined vegetable oils business, in Cargill’s oilseeds processing division and grain trading division in Europe and the United States.


He has a master degree in industrial engineering & management science from the University of Technology in Eindhoven.


He is a Dutch national and 55 years of age. He is married and they have one daughter.


Mr Yeong Chye

Global Business Head-Asia Pacific,
Olam Cocoa


Yeong Chye is the Global Business Head – Asia Pacific for Olam Cocoa’s business in Asia Pacific. He is a member of Olam Cocoa’s Executive Committee.


With more than 30 years’ experience in agri-commodity marketing & trading, Yeong Chye joins Olam following 18 years at ADM. Before joining ADM, he had a successful career with Sime Darby’s plantation division in Malaysia. Based in Singapore, he has extensive experience working across numerous APAC markets including Indonesia, Japan, China, Philippines, India & Australia.


Yeong Chye has been a previous council member for ASEAN Cocoa & served as chairman of the Cocoa Association of Asia for 11 years. He holds a BA in Business Administration, having majored in finance.


Mr Gricha Safarian

General Manager,
Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam


Gricha Safarian, Shareholder and Managing Director of Puratos Grand-Place Indochina has been in the B-to-B chocolate business for over 30 years, being one of the founder of OCG Cacao Group (acquired by Cargill after 5 years of successful operation) and founder of Grand-Place Chocolate, head quartered in Belgium.


Gricha and his team have been involved in the introduction and development of cocoa plantation in Vietnam since 2008 with a number of sustainable cocoas sourcing programs. Gricha’s latest achievement was to set up the Cacao Trace Certification program including innovative incentives for farmers as well as developing a full “pod to bar” model that is giving back a strategic place to the fermentation of the beans. The full vertically integrated process is now exiting pilot stage in Vietnam and is currently being adopted at the larger scale by Puratos Group where Gricha is part of the Cocoa Sourcing Strategic Team.


Mr Paul Davis

Deputy Head of Cocoa,


Paul Davis commenced his career in Cocoa in 1987, joining Pacol Ltd., a Cocoa Coffee and Rubber trading business based in London and a founding member of LIFFE, London International Financial Futures Exchange. Following the merger of Pacol and her parent group, Gill and Duffus ED&F Man in 1988, Paul Davis joined the enlarged trading team and became Managing Director and Global Head trader for Cocoa in 1998 until 2006 when he joined the Wingspan Group to support found Tropix Capital LLP., in Connecticut, a specialist softs commodity fund concentrating on discretionary Cocoa, Coffee and Sugar trading. In 2011 Paul Davis founded Holland Capital LLP, a private commodities investment fund with two former ED&F Man colleagues until accepting an appointment as Global Head of Cocoa at Noble Group in 2013 and subsequently joining Sucden Group as the Deputy Head of Cocoa Trading in 2016.


Paul Davis was qualified as a floor trader in 1997 (and therefore luckily managed to be ‘grand fathered’ through later FSA examinations); served as Council Member from 1999, Vice Chair from 2003, and then Chairman of the FCC, from 2006 to 2009; served as member from 2001, and then Chairman of the Cocoa Advisory Committee to LIFFE from 2003 to 2006; has served as an arbitrator for the FCC since 2002; has served as an advisor to the Ivory Coast Government on stabilisation plans for of the CDI Internal Cocoa market in 2009. Paul Davis is married with two (allegedly) grown up children, read Law at University London, is a freeman of the City of London and a member of the Worshipful Company of World Traders.


Mr Joseph Larose

Head of Sustainability,


An International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights graduate from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Humanitaires, University of Marseille-Aix en Provence, Joseph Larrose joined Touton seven years ago as a member of the Sustainable Sourcing Department. In 2011 he was appointed West Africa Regional Manager for Sustainable Sourcing and moved to Côte d’Ivoire, where he designed, implemented and promoted sustainable practices and activities in the Touton’s cocoa supply chain for over two years.


Back at Touton’s Head Office in 2013 as Director Group Sustainability, he is now driving the development of this department, including all commodities traded by Touton such as cocoa, coffee, vanilla and ingredients. He is a member of various working groups and international stakeholders’ platforms addressing challenges in the cocoa and coffee supply chain.


In June 2017, Joseph graduated from an Executive Master at HEC Paris


Justin Leavenworth

Global Markets Director,


Justin leads UTZ’s relationships with companies around the world, helping them to put sustainability at the core of their business practices. His expertise lies in strategic business growth and transformation.


Justin joined UTZ in 2016, bringing with him more than 20 years of business experience across the United States, Latin America and Asia. Before joining UTZ he worked for THNK, the School of Creative Leadership, which aims to find innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing and inspiring challenges. Previously he developed the market for sustainably farmed beef in the United States and Latin America, as well as founding a consultancy that works with major companies to develop culturally targeted branding.


Mr Steve Wateridge

Managing Partner,
Tropical Research Services


STEVE WATERIDGE has been Managing Partner of Tropical Research Services, supply market analysis to a range of hedge fund, trade and industry clients, since 2009. Prior to setting up Tropical Research Services in 2009 he was a Coffee and Cocoa Analyst at Ospraie Services Group, whom he joined in 2006. Before that, Mr. Wateridge worked at ED&F Man, where he was the Head of Coffee and Cocoa Research (2001-2006) and Head of Cocoa Research (1988-2001). Prior to ED&F Man, he was an Economist at Rowntrees PLC (1983-1988) and an Economist at the Economics Division of Saudi Arabian Embassy (1981-1983).


Mr. Wateridge has been a member of the ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks since 1994 and Chairman of the Group since 2005. Mr. Wateridge earned an MSc in Economics (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1981) as well as a BA in Economics and Politics (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1979).

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