Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute?

The Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is devoted to identifying, developing, and promoting fine cacao and chocolate through education, research, and community building. FCCI’s current activities focus primarily on addressing ethics and quality issues in the supply chain. FCCI was founded by Carla D. Martin in late 2015 with the support of the organization’s Board Members and many cacao-chocolate industry, academic, and consumer collaborators.

How can I get involved?

Anyone can participate in FCCI activities and classes. We encourage you to show your general support by promoting our activities through your social networks. If you would like to take your support a step further, we are also looking for partners who can support our work financially and provide input and experience to assure we are addressing the right issues and producing practical strategies and tactics. We warmly invite you to share ideas or constructive feedback by contacting us.

I’m interested in volunteering with FCCI. What can I do now?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering. We are eager to match volunteers with appropriate projects when we can. Please reach out at any time to share details on your relevant skill set and availability, and we will be in touch.

Who is responsible for FCCI operations?

Carla D. Martin is FCCI’s Executive Director and is responsible for the day to day management of the organization. FCCI’s board members are:

  • Carla D. Martin, FCCI and Harvard University
  • Kathryn Sampeck, Illinois State University
  • Chloe Doutre Roussel, Chloe Chocolat
  • Peter Giuliano, Specialty Coffee Association of America
  • Christina Xu, Organizational Design, Multimedia, and Crowdfunding Expert

Beyond these roles, we have numerous collaborators in the fine cacao and chocolate industry and the scholarly academy. Please stay tuned to our site, where will soon post further information about the many individuals and institutions that support us in advisory and collaborative capacities.

What does FCCI do?

FCCI’s current goals include:


  • Continue to teach FCCI Cacao Grader Intensive and develop Cacao Grader Certification process
  • Launch consumer education series
  • Collect and disseminate resources for the fine cacao and chocolate community, culinary professionals, journalists, consumers, etc.


  • Conduct and publish two research projects, e.g. study of craft chocolate consumers, chocolate maker survey
  • Write and publish one set of educational materials, e.g. cacao quality manual, cacao aroma wheel and guide
  • Launch a database for external evaluation, cut tests, and organoleptic evaluation of cacao

Community building

  • Develop fine cacao and chocolate museum exhibit for launch in 2018 or 2019
  • Network widely and facilitate connections among scholarly academy, industry, and consumers
  • Launch a directory of organizations and individuals in fine cacao and chocolate

Where does FCCI operate?

Many FCCI products and services are available online at Our in person educational programming is available in select locations by invitation (e.g. San Francisco, Lima, Ilhéus, New York, Villahermosa, Paris, Seattle) and will expand over time.

What’s the best way to stay up to date with FCCI?

The best way to stay up to date on FCCI’s activities is to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also find us via the social media at the links at the bottom of this page.

How does FCCI operate?

FCCI hopes to become financially sustainable through grants, class tuition revenue, industry and consumer financial contributions, and sales of research reports and merchandise. Volunteer labor and collaborative partnerships with academia, industry, and consumer organizations also enable us to carry out our programming.

I would like to learn more about FCCI. How do I find out more?

Thank you for your interest in learning more about the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute. Please feel free to browse our website. We hope these pages provide helpful general information to get you started. You may also subscribe to our newsletter . If you have any specific questions on our programming, please feel free to contact us.

Is free to use?

Our website is free to use, and anyone may subscribe to our newsletter for free. We may launch paid features in the future to help support our organization.

How do I sign up for the newsletter?

Go here to sign up for the newsletter.

How can I contact FCCI?

You are warmly welcome to contact us any time at and someone from our team will respond to you as soon as possible.