FCIA Fine Chocolate Glossary

Welcome to the
Fine Chocolate Glossary

A curated collection of expert perspectives on terms associated with the world of fine chocolate

What’s New with the Glossary?

Fine Chocolate Glossary To Adopt New Structure (Oct. 1, 2023 start)

Each entry will begin with a snippet. Expert perspectives will follow each snippet. Entry ends with authorship information and references.

  • Snippets describe entries in the most simplest of terms in 25 words or less.
  • Snippets reflect the common use of the term across a widest proportion of the industry.
  • Where appropriate and possible, the Glossary Task Force drew snippets from known published sources.
  • With other terms, we came to consensus on a brief description of the entry.
  • A short note follows each snippet to identify the title of the snippet source beyond those used in the whole entry itself.
  • Following the source, an added line clearly separates a snippet from an expert perspective entry.
  • Beneath the line, the full expert perspective follows with 1) specific chocolate context; 2) explained nuance; 3) images; 4) references.
  • Both snippets and expert perspectives remain open to feedback and may change as the industry changes.
  • Dates of draft posting, updates and verification will accompany each entry.

Mission of the Chocolate Glossary:
A global grass-roots effort to create an on-going, living collection of key terms associated with fine chocolate that promote consistent communication across multiple stakeholders. The Glossary will grow as the industry does.

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Welcome to the Glossary!

A warm welcome to all our visitors. We hope that you will find the Glossary to be current, dynamic, inclusive, and representative of voices across the fine chocolate world. And whenever you are ready to contribute, we look forward to welcoming you to the conversation.

What is the Glossary?

The Fine Chocolate Glossary provides a shared space for leading experts to establish a common language for all things chocolate. It emerged from a survey to identify priorities for the Value Chain Committee of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. However, the Glossary extends beyond FCIA as an open-source resource available to anyone and includes recruitment of authors from both within and outside the FCIA membership.

From “artisan” to “value chain,” many terms have become part of our everyday conversations about fine chocolate. But how we use these terms, and what we mean by them, can differ from person to person, situation to situation.

Each entry in the Glossary shares insights from experts around the world: cocoa farmers, chocolate makers, researchers, supply chain professionals, and thought leaders across the industry.

Together, these experts help us arrive at a shared understanding of the language of fine chocolate.

Anyone who is interested to learn more about fine chocolate!

Fine chocolate business owners may turn to the Glossary as a helpful tool to articulate the “fine chocolate difference,” and to distinguish their business approach.

Journalists, researchers, academics, and influencers who educate about fine chocolate can explore the Glossary to learn how other experts define terms.

Students at any level can rely upon the Glossary to provide insights into key terms for their research and writing.

And, of course, chocolate lovers everywhere can visit the Glossary to learn more about terms that appear on packaging, in marketing and branding, and in discussions of trade justice.

Whatever your reason for being here, we invite you to explore the Glossary from A to Z. And we look forward to welcoming your voice to the conversation!

Who is the Glossary for?

How to use the Glossary

  • Start typing in the search bar at the top of this page. If your search term has an entry in the Glossary, the search function will suggest that term. If it doesn’t auto-fill, don’t worry – keep typing, and the search function will determine the entry that is the best fit.
  • Click on any letter of the alphabet above to view a list of entries that start with that letter. (We recommend clicking on “C”!)
  • Press the “View Glossary” button above for a full list of entries.
  • Explore the “Featured Terms.” These change periodically, to showcase new entries or highlight a theme.

As you explore, you’ll find that Glossary entries have several common features. Each entry:

  • is written in accessible language
  • includes a cocoa- or chocolate-related example
  • includes references to credible sources
  • states the author’s professional role
  • lists related entries

There is also a feedback button at the bottom of each entry.

All Glossary users – whether or not you are a fine chocolate professional – are invited to share comments or suggestions at any time.

We welcome your feedback!

What you will find in the Glossary

How to submit to the Glossary

Periodically, the FCIA Glossary team invites experts to author entries  related to their area of expertise.

We also accept unsolicited entries, as well as suggestions for authors, terms, and feedback on existing terms.

If you would like to contribute to the shared language of fine chocolate in the Glossary, we recommend first completing the on-demand Term Workshop (below).

Once you have completed the workshop, please click on the relevant button at the bottom of the page to submit your entry or your feedback.

Our top priority is to keep the Glossary current, dynamic, and inclusive in every way. Thank you for helping us to meet that goal.

On-Demand Term Workshop

Would you like to submit an entry to the Glossary or provide feedback on an existing entry? Then take this comprehensive Term Workshop. It covers everything you need to know as a Glossary contributor.

Workshop Materials

We recommend downloading and reading these materials before you begin the Term Workshop:

Suggested readings for drafting practice entries:

Term Workshop Links

The Term Workshop includes 11 modules. Total time to view all video modules is approx. 45 minutes. Including time for exercises, the full workshop will take 1.5 – 2 hours.

We recommend that new Glossary contributors take the full workshop, and complete all the exercises. Experienced contributors can return as needed to individual modules as refreshers.


Submit a Definition

Submit a definition for the Glossary

Make a Suggestion

Suggest a term, recommend an author,
or give feedback on an existing entry

Frequently asked questions

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