Elevating specialty value chains

Bridging the gap between cocoa growers and chocolate lovers

Our vision

Harness the resources of specialty value chains to maximize development benefits to vulnerable stakeholders

Who are we

Discover the powerhouse behind SCCA

An alliance of independent consultants and cocoa-chocolate industry experts led by Bill Guyton and Kristy Leissle, PhD. Collectively, SCCA founders have 40+ years of experience working across the cocoa value chain, from farms to multinational companies, as well as with traders, processors, trade associations, and development partners.

While we have a robust network and demonstrated project success across the full value chain, we also have specialized experience at either end.

Kristy has spent close to 20 years working with cocoa producer organizations across Africa, conducting farm-level research and business management trainings for individuals, cooperatives, development organizations, and private companies.

Bill has founded and supported chocolate trade associations at global and regional levels, and stewarded many successful public-private partnerships amongst multinational and mid-size companies, bilateral development agencies, and local service providers.

Pioneers in cocoa excellence

Meet the founders

Dr. Kristy Leissle

Dr. Kristy Leissle is an internationally recognized expert in the cocoa and chocolate trade. She specializes in educational and research consulting to cocoa and chocolate companies and trade associations, as well as cocoa marketing and business development for African cocoa producer organizations.

She serves on advisory boards for specialty cocoa and chocolate start-ups, and is currently developing a digital platform for marketing African cocoa. Kristy has spent close to 20 years researching and publishing on West African cocoa markets. She is co-founder of the Cocoapreneurship Institute of Ghana and author of Cocoa, on geopolitics.

Bill Guyton

Bill Guyton is a senior-level leader within international agribusiness and non-profit organizations, who is committed to global sustainability best practices. He specializes in creating public-private partnerships and developing resilient value chains and community-based programs.

Previously Founder and CEO of the World Cocoa Foundation, Bill has worked since 2018 with the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, first as Executive Director and then as Senior Advisor. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the World Food Law Institute, and is a member of The Alliance to End Hunger and the Association for International Agriculture and Development.

Driving positive change

What we do

Technical

Educational

Marketing

SCCA provides technical, educational, and marketing services to companies, organizations, and development partners in the specialty chocolate ecosystem. We support our clients to analyze, measure, and scale their sustainability and development impact, and assist companies to plan and build strategic partnerships. We specialize in Africa, and also have capabilities in Latin America and Asia cocoa markets.

Our
Process

Maximizing impact through strategic collaboration

We work with a unique three-stage process to assess, enhance, and market your sustainability strategy.

  • Analyze your sustainability approach and metrics, through a review of documentation, calls with client lead, and interviews with key staff and suppliers
  • Deliver results of sustainability assessment, including strengths, gaps, and opportunities for growth, in a virtual workshop and final report, including recommendations for Stage 2: Implementation
  • Based on recommendations from Stage 1, we develop and implement a plan for enhancing your sustainability impact. This may include developing partnerships with donor agencies; cultivating new sourcing options; supporting a new program outcome; developing metrics to assess impact.
  • Now that you have implemented your refreshed sustainability strategy, it’s time to make it visible. We help you identify your target audience (for example, consumers, supply chain partners, development agencies), then design a marketing program to get your sustainability achievements in front of that audience. 
  • Sample marketing tools: industry-focused webinars; social media marketing campaigns; sustainability or transparency report writing; bespoke thought leadership “portals” or other digital marketing innovations.

Packages that range from an hourly-based review, to a months-long strategy assessment and implementation plan.

We ask that all clients begin with Stage 1. Clients who anticipate working with SCCA for Stages 2 & 3 may be eligible for a preferred client discount.

The SCCA difference: a conceptual
bridge across the value chain

As external consultants with deep knowledge of cocoa value chains, we provide fresh analytical insight into your sustainability approach. We offer a suite of tools and programmatic options to demonstrate your company’s or organization’s thought leadership and positive impact. Building on your existing successes, we develop technical, marketing, and educational capacity within your company or organization to enhance and magnify impact on the most vulnerable actors in your value chains.

For projects of appropriate scale, we build and manage public-private partnerships to leverage the resources of development partners and private sector actors. These partnerships ensure meaningful programmatic scale and scope, and measurable impact.

Maximizing impact through strategic collaboration

Unique benefits of working with SCCA

Our partners

Growing together

We work with mid-size cocoa and chocolate companies, development agencies, and other key stakeholders in the specialty chocolate ecosystem. SCCA manages a unique network of relationships among companies and organizations that are eager to establish or grow their cocoa sustainability vision.

Unlock your sustainable potential

Contact us now to start a conversation about your strategy and concept note creation.