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, with twenty years of experience as a cocoa field researcher in Africa. She specializes in educational and research consulting to cocoa and chocolate companies and trade associations, as well as marketing and business development for African cocoa producer organizations.

Kristy is Founder & CEO of African Cocoa Marketplace, Inc., and Co-founder of the Cocoapreneurship Institute of Ghana. She is author of the series “I am a cocoa farmer” for Confectionery News, and the book 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. His career has included short, medium and long term assignments in Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East where he managed development programs for the public and private sectors.

Navigating Cocoa Solutions


Brett Beach

Brett Beach brings six years of development experience in Africa – including the U.S. State Department and USAID – and more than 15 years of FMCG business leadership in the U.S. and Europe. Co-founder and executive director of two ethical chocolate brands, MIA and Madécasse / Beyond Good, Brett has been involved in every aspect of the product journey from farm to market.

Brett gained an in-depth understanding of market dynamics by bringing more than 20 products from production in Africa to launch at trade shows and retailers: independents, Amazon, and national grocers Whole Foods Market, Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s.

Anya Carrasco

Anya Carrasco is a project manager with over a decade of experience increasing operational efficiencies to drive productivity across the agricultural, education, and technology sectors. She heads U.S. operations at Zorzal Cacao and oversees Cocoa Masterclass Dominican Republic logistics.

Anya holds a master’s in sustainability from Harvard with certificates in food systems and innovation and is committed to shaping change around circularity, energy efficiency, and waste. She is board secretary of Inin Rabi, which partners with indigenous peoples of the Amazon on food security and preservation of traditional ecological knowledge. Anya is trilingual (English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese) and has facilitated educational exchange programs in four Latin American countries.

Colin Ulbert

Colin Ulbert combines experience in creative leadership and social media advertising with a deep understanding of growth strategies. Currently a Creative Lead and Social Media Ads Specialist at Dutch agency Leapforce, Colin has spearheaded numerous digital marketing initiatives, leveraging modern tools to drive visibility and growth.

Colin merges his marketing expertise with a passion for sustainability through Truly Creative. He plays an essential role as a social media consultant to the TSIRO Alliance in Madagascar, working alongside USAID, Catholic Relief Services, and the FCIA. Previously, Colin earned his stripes as marketing manager of Chocoa, gaining deep insights into the cocoa and chocolate industry.

Driving positive change

What we do




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.


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.