ABIDJAN Aug 11 Barry Callebaut, the
world's biggest chocolate maker, confirmed on Monday it has
cancelled an annual meeting of managers that was due to take
place in Ivory Coast because of concern over the spread of the
The worst Ebola epidemic in history has so far killed close
to 1,000 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
No suspected cases have yet been reported in neighbouring
Ivory Coast - the region's economic powerhouse and the world's
top cocoa grower.
The company has invested in cocoa grinding capacity in the
country as well as infrastructure at the San Pedro cocoa port.
"We have cancelled the meeting because of the problem with
Ebola as certain people were not comfortable coming to work in
the region because of that," said a senior company source who
asked not to be named.
The meeting was due to take place in October and is the
first time the Swiss-based firm had organised its global meeting
in an African location.
Barry Callebaut spokesman Raphael Wermuth said the annual
manager's conference, to be attended by 150-200 executives,
would be moved because of the uncertainty over Ebola to Davos in
Wermuth added business was otherwise continuing as usual in
(Reporting by Ange Aboa; Additional reporting by Silke
Koltrowitz in Zurich; Writing by Emma Farge, editing by David