Sylvestre Awono 

Cacao-Trace Expert, Puratos

For the past 17 years, Sylvestre Awono has been an integral cog in the Puratos machine. He started in 2005 by successfully leading its R&D fermentation team while managing and developing the brand’s bakery products. Five years ago, Sylvestre was appointed Group Cacao Manager and has been focussing on the development of Cacao-Trace – Puratos’ sustainability program that aims to create Great taste in chocolate for Doing good to the planet and to the cocoa supply chain, especially for farmers.

Cacao-Trace is the only sustainable sourcing program that redefines the chocolate standard and is committed to delivering a better life for cocoa farmers and their communities, while catering to the increasingly conscious consumer mindset. Sylvestre spares no energy in finding ways to increase revenues for Cacao-Trace farmers, helping Puratos pave the way in prioritizing sustainable and ethical cocoa sourcing.

His devotion to all things cocoa started as a boy, working on Cameroonian plantations with his grandfather. He started experimenting with fermentation at the age of 14, beginning with palm wine before tackling sourdough and yeast. This later evolved, as Sylvestre achieved a master’s degree in Food Technology Engineering and a postgraduate qualification in Entrepreneurship Management, both from the University of Liège in Belgium. Following his university education, he worked in various R&D positions in the field of flavor development and fermentation, in both academic and corporate environments.

With his breadth of experience and cocoa knowledge, we are delighted that Sylvestre will join us at the London Chocolate Forum’s event this March as a guest speaker. Sylvestre will take the opportunity to connect with fellow peers from the chocolate manufacturing community and discuss the importance of a sustainable future for chocolate, as well as how Puratos can support industry stakeholders in delivering positive change and the emerging innovations impacting taste. When asked to offer a brief flavor of what’s to come, he said: “Chocolate is an amazing treat. It is a great business opportunity that leads to prosperity for many businesses in the northern hemisphere and an unacceptable cashless crop for millions of starving farmers in the southern one. If we want to continue to enjoy chocolate, this imbalance has to change. I will showcase how Cacao-Trace can and does achieve this change today, and how it will continue to do so tomorrow. 60DAYS chocolate is an exciting example of the impact that can be delivered in and by the industry. Certified under Cacao-Trace Fresh, the next level of Cacao-Trace, 60DAYS chocolate takes the concept of “from farm to chocolate” one step further, ensuring it is locally connected and transition time is minimized to make a positive disruption in flavor and freshness. The unique initiative successfully combines amazing fruity taste and intense flavors with Cacao-Trace sustainability values, underlining our core objective of Great taste, Doing good, to enjoy with peace of mind.