General News

FCIA Launches Fine Chocolate Glossary

After more than a year of cross-continental teamwork, and collaboration with more than 30 experts around the world, the Fine Chocolate Industry Association is thrilled to announce that the Fine Chocolate Glossary is now live. 

The Glossary is a solution to a common challenge for anyone who works in cocoa or chocolate, or who is on a journey of learning about them: the face that we all may mean different things when using terms related to fine chocolate.

We could be talking about anything from cocoa agroforestry to the fine chocolate value chain, but it would be very difficult to know if what we mean when we say ‘agroforestry’ or ‘value chain’ is the same as what someone else means when they use those terms. 

We may think we understand one another, but sometimes we just need a little help communicating. Now that the Glossary is live, we all have access to a thought-leadership tool that solves these communication challenges.

At launch, the Glossary includes more than 250 terms—about 14 percent have completed entries. The Glossary team expects to bring the entry completion rate to about 25 percent by the end of April. Entries will continue to be authored by invited experts and will be subject to ongoing review and revision by FCIA members and external stakeholders. 

Dr. Kristy Leissle, the Glossary’s main architect and author of the book Cocoa, says that she uses fine chocolate terminology all the time to communicate effectively. The Glossary solves a real challenge in that communication by giving everyone a shared reference for what those terms mean, she adds. 

Every Glossary entry is authored by an expert in their field and gives an example to illustrate how the term is used in the real world. Collectively, contributors’ experience spans North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and their expertise runs deep in both cocoa and chocolate.

FCIA Board President Lauren Adler says she often finds herself discussing chocolate concepts with colleagues using the same terms, but meaning different things. The Glossary creates standard definitions for chocolate terms and concepts so that everyone is starting their discussion on the same page. It’s an exciting development in our ability to have meaningful conversation around key issues impacting fine chocolate.

As the Glossary continues to grow, we look forward to including an ever-more diverse set of voices, and experts from every corner of the fine chocolate ecosystem. 

We invite you to explore the Glossary today and make your own contribution whenever you’re ready.

For more information about the Glossary, email

For more information about the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, contact Executive Director Ephi Maglaris at

The Fine Chocolate Glossary was created in partnership with TSIRO and MOCCA.