Another CocoaPOP partnership meeting has taken place, involving representatives from all three countries involved in the project. As we head into the later stages of the project, the partners are all very busy with continued monitoring, sampling and field- and lab-work.
The partnership meeting was a chance to review progress, plan the next few months and exchange information. Highlights of recent months have included completion of two islands' biodiversity data sets, ongoing work on cocoa flowering phenology and various dissemination activities.
The meeting followed on from the International Fine Cocoa Innovation Centre conference, which was an excellent opportunity to showcase the CocoaPOP project to stakeholders, including farmer associations, industry representatives, other academics and chocolatiers. The conference included a post-meeting cocoa pollination workshop, which was a thoroughly exciting chance to discuss the big questions in cocoa pollination that will guide future reasearch work. CocoaPOP staff from UTT had a stall in the exhibition room at the conference to publicise the work we are doing.
Sarah Arnold from NRI visited Trinidad to assist with ongoing field and lab activities, including midge rearing and measuring effects of improving midge populations in cocoa fields.
She also took the opportunity of this visit to present recent CocoaPOP work at the IFCIC conference in her talk "Pollination in Caribbean cocoa fields: biodiversity, sustainable management and future directions".