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.
Euan Mann has extensive experience in soft commodities, having worked and consulted for producers, merchants, end-users, and investors within the sector.
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.