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Recap: The 2017 HCCA Conference in Hilo

The Hawaii Cacao and Chocolate Association convened in Hilo, Hawaii March 11-12 for its annual conference. Over 60 participants attended from around Hawaii and the Mainland.

The weekend activities began with farm tours at Hamakua Chocolate Farm followed by a visit to the Kazemaru’s OLA Kai farm and lunch at chocolate maker Tom Sharkey’s house. The afternoon included a visit to Mahilani farm on the hillside above Hilo. There, we had the chance to see not only the farm but also the post-harvest processing facility and their emerging chocolate factory. Participants also enjoyed a cacao/chocolate inspired dinner afterwards.

The conference convened with the annual HCCA membership meeting on Sunday, March 11th at Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo where the membership also elected the Board of Directors and officers for the coming year (see Election brief for details).  HCCA President Gunars Valkirs also presented other business including a review of the finances of HCCA and the accomplishments of the past year.

Following the business meeting, participants enjoyed a number of informative presentations and concluded with the traditional capstone event of chocolate tasting and wine pairings.

Click here to read more about the conference, and check out a video recap here!

Become an HCCA member or renew your membership

Become a member or renew your membership with the Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association for benefits including invitations to meetings and networking events, industry promotion, discounts, member newsletter, education material, and more. As an active member you will receive a member discount on future conference and event registrations. Your membership is an opportunity to save while continuing to support HCCA! More information available on the Members page.

Already a member and want to be more active with HCCA? Get involved and participate in one of our many committees including Education, Legislation, Membership, Marketing, Fundraising, and more to help shape the future of our industry. Send an email to and let us know what you are interested in and how you would like to help. Mahalo!


Hawaiian Grown Cacao - Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association

Membership Benefits:

Legislative Strength

The Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association acts as the industry’s voice on legislative issues. Members are active in lobbying legislators and influencing  legislation that affects the chocolate industry.

Industry Networking

Annual Conference and Educational Opportunities for Growers and Farmers
During the annual HCCA Conference a variety of current issues in farming, production, manufacture and retail are presented by guest speakers and relevant industry information is shared among members. At other times field trips and workshops provide educational opportunities for growers and manufacturers.

General Membership Meetings

Annual general membership meeting are held during the HCCA Conference each year in February. Other networking opportunities may be arrangend at events during the year.

Statewide Educational Outreach

HCCA participates in a variety of educational and promotional activities during the year including The Hawaii Chocolate Festival, Agriculture Day at the Capital, the Maui County Agriculture Festival,  The Hawaii Cacao Festival and various Farmers Markets and Culinary Festivals around the state.

Additional Benefits

The HCCA Newsletter provides quarterly communication with members providing legislative updates, spotlighting upcoming events, industry news, member profiles and other relevant information of the


A users agreement providing guidelines for use will soon be available to Members interested in using the HCCA logo for promotional purposes (i.e. on packaging, Point of Sale material, website or other commercial applications)  Displaying this symbol demonstrates commitment to the standards and policies of the HCCA and will serve to promote awareness and strengthen the brand value of the Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association including our members products and services .