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Cocoa and Chocolate: The Food of Gods



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Cocoa and Chocolate

Upon entering the Cocoa and Chocolate Cluster, visitors will feel as if they are walking into the jungle. The Cluster recreates the tropical and subtropical environment where cacao trees grow. The external parts of the buildings are made of very light materials, which open to reveal the internal canopy. This design symbolizes the need to protect such a valuable and aromatic fruit.

The Cocoa and Chocolate Cluster features a large number of uprights of differing sizes. These represent the large number of species and types of tree under which the cacao-bearing evergreen grows. The atmosphere is warm and humid as in a real jungle, with sunlight penetrating the trees’ crowns, casting its rays throughout the pavilions.

Oops… chocolate!: Martin Parr
I have always liked chocolate and the reason I am a photographer is because I am a nosy person.
So when the chance came to explore this subject further, I jumped at it. In particular to visit Ghana, one of the key cocoa growing countries, where the whole industry is run by the Ghana Cocoa Board. With their help I was able to photograph cocoa research units, processing and meet some cocoa farmers. I now have the opportunity to share my discoveries onto a wider public with this exhibition for Expo Milano 2015.
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Martin Parr

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Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952. Martin Parr is a photographer, editor, curator, collector and a member of Magnum Photos. He has published over 80 books of his own work and edited another 30. He is currently editing a series of books for Nazraeli Press and often does much work to promote new photographers, when, for example he was the artistic director of the Arles Festival and the Brighton Photo Biennial. He has just finished working on the "History of the Photobook, Volume 3", published by Phaidon and "The Chinese Photobook", published by Aperture.

EXHIBITION CONTENT: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
CONCEPT AND EXHIBITION LAYOUT: Fabrizio Leoni, Mauricio Cardenas, and Cesare Ventura
TOTAL AREA: 3,546 sqm
COMMON AREA: 2,541 sqm
EVENTS AREA: 696 sqm
The Cluster Structure

The pavilions, all of a similar size and color, are identified by the exhibitor country’s flag and name. Display panels featuring drawings, icons, and images tell the many stories of cacao: from cultivation, via processing and transport, to distribution worldwide.

In the Cluster, the tasting and relaxation area is linked to the section set aside for events, and also to the space where demonstrations related to cocoa and chocolate will take place.

The events area features bench-seating in a fan-shape formation. In addition to being used by the audience during performances, these seats are also available for visitors’ convenience throughout the day. Outside the pavilion is a green area with tables and benches where visitors leaving the Cacao Cluster, as well as passers-by, can take a quick break from exhibition-hopping.
A fertility symbol

Cacao was cultivated for many thousands of years by a number of pre-Columbian peoples, and featured as a key component of Maya and Aztec diet and culture. One of the many uses to which the Aztecs put cacao was as an ingredient in the drink known as “xocolātl”. Another traditional recipe combined cocoa and chili. Whether used for food or drink, or in exchange for other goods, cocoa soon became a symbol of energy, fertility, and life.

Cocoa’s popularity has not dwindled and, indeed, is the main ingredient of chocolate, one of the world’s best-loved foods. The cocoa employed to make the chocolate that we eat, or drink, derives from the cacao fruit. Cacao is grown in more than 30 emerging countries, the crop serving, in many cases, to sustain their economies.
UN's presence in the Cocoa and Chocolate Cluster
90% of the cocoa beans are grown in developing countries, but only 29% of the cocoa powder and 4% of the chocolate are processed locally. Starting with these figures, the UN Space in this Cluster explores, among other things, the work that the United Nations is doing to support the livelihoods of cacao smallholders in developing countries in order to improve access to resources, markets and technologies.   

The UN is present with 18 multimedia installations, easily recognizable by their giant blue spoons. These UN Spaces are located in various areas of the site along the itinerary dedicated to the theme “The Zero Hunger Challenge • United for a sustainable world”.
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Eurochocolate / Official Cocoa and Chocolate Cluster Content Provider

With creativity and passion, EuroChocolate has been the leader for over 20 years in the organization of events dedicated to the Food of the Gods.

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