On 21 November 2013, Direct Cacao was formally and legally founded as an Association under Dutch law in Amsterdam with the following categories of membership:
- Cacao Growers: Fine cacao growers (farmers, plantations, cooperatives, commercial growers et cetera);
- Chocolate Makers: Manufacturers of fine chocolate that buy and process cacao into finished chocolate entirely in their own facilities;
- Cacao Traders: Companies engaged in the trade of fine cacao or in industries supporting the fine cacao trade;
- Chocolate Companies: Companies sourcing cacao but not making fine chocolate in their own facilities (eg using private label or outsourced production or part making chocolate), chocolatiers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers;
- Supporting industries: Related companies and individuals that are (wholly or partly) engaged in fine cacao or fine chocolate in the value chain or other activities, including, events companies, PR companies, consultants, etc.
- Associate members: organisations, companies or individuals that share the objectives of Direct Cacao
Associate members are non-voting members who support the goals of Direct Cacao. Each category except the Associate member category will have the option to nominate members for the Management Board of Direct Cacao.
Membership in all categories except for Supporting industries will be for companies or organisations, who each nominate a named representative. The Supporting industries category will include both company/organisation and individual members.
Direct Cacao is now open for membership applications in the Chocolate Makers, Chocolate Companies and Supporting Industries categories. Please apply online through the Membership application form.
Other membership categories are currently being founded.