History of the CAL
The Cocoa Association of London LTD (CAL) was founded in 1929 and was open to all firms engaged in the commerce of raw cocoa, regardless of country of registration. The objectives were at the time, to promote, protect and regulate the cocoa trade and to safeguard the interests of its members. The association established standard contracts and market rules to facilitate the trade together with an arbitration service for the settlement of disputes. It also represented the cocoa trade before international government and non-government organizations.
Although membership was open to firms anywhere in the world, voting membership was originally restricted to members registered in the United Kingdom. However, with the advent of a freer inter-European market and the full accession of the United Kingdom to the European Union, voting privileges were extended to merchant and processing firms throughout the Union. Among its non-voting members were trading firms and cocoa processors outside the EU, and non-trading members carrying out ancillary activities, such as warehousekeepers and superintendence companies.
Among the CAL’s activities was the annual cocoa dinner which had been organized since 1931. In line with the widening of the association's scope to embrace the EU market and through co-operation with other Europe based associations, these gatherings were more recently held in the major cocoa cities of Amsterdam, Hamburg, London and Paris. The London cocoa dinner was a significant event in the international cocoa calendar, bringing together most of the important players in the worldwide cocoa community.