FCCI New England Chocolate Festival Standards of Conduct for All Participants
Agreement to Exercise Reasonable Professional Judgment and Reasonable Care in Preparing, Serving, or Consuming Food or Drink
Release of Liability for Food and Drink Related Activities
The New England Chocolate Festival will bring the public together with chocolate and cacao professionals to taste, learn, and interact. Founded in 2018, the New England Chocolate Festival brings together the chocolate community of New England with those interested in craft and specialty chocolate, offering a unique and current education program directed to those who want to learn more about specialty cacao and chocolate.
In order to create an inclusive and constructive event, we require all participants to review and agree to the Standards of Conduct, below.
The New England Chocolate Festival is also a specialized event for food and drink professionals. There may be several opportunities to take part in activities where you will be invited to eat or drink. Therefore, we require that all participants agree to exercise reasonable professional judgment and exercise reasonable care in preparing, serving, and consuming food or drink.
Relatedly, we also require that all participants release FCCI from liability related to food and drink not directly prepared or served by FCCI employees.
This agreement consists of three parts: Standards of Conduct, the Agreement to Exercise Reasonable Professional Judgment and Reasonable Care in Preparing, Serving, or Consuming of Food or Drink, and the Release of Liability for Food and Drink Related Activities. Collectively these three parts shall form a single agreement between the participant, signed below, and FCCI, which shall be referred to as "the Agreement."
I. Standards of Conduct
Professional behavior is expected at the New England Chocolate Festival at all times. FCCI strictly prohibits any participant from harassing, stalking, demeaning, threatening, or physically assaulting any other participant, FCCI employee or volunteer, facility staff, or any other person at any time during the course of the event. Prohibited forms of conduct include, but are not limited to, harassment, demeaning statements or conduct, express or implied threats of violence, and actual physical violence targeting any individual or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, immigration status, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation or opinion, religion, real or perceived disability, veteran's or military service status, or age.
Sexual harassment and sexually offensive behavior are strictly prohibited at the New England Chocolate Festival.
Good judgment regarding conduct is required at all times from participants. Behavior that is likely to create a disturbance or endanger persons or property is strictly prohibited.
FCCI is obligated to conform to all local, state, and federal laws. Therefore, no illegal conduct is permitted at the New England Chocolate Festival, including smoking in indoor public places and the possession and consumption of narcotics.
Participants may report any violations of these standards to any FCCI employee. Such reports will be conveyed confidentially to the event organizers for evaluation and response.
If subsequent to an investigation of a report, FCCI finds that a participant's conduct has violated these Standards of Conduct, FCCI has the right to remove, at its sole discretion, that participant from the New England Chocolate Festival and bar the participant from further attendance at the New England Chocolate Festival and any future FCCI events. FCCI also retains the right to report, at its sole discretion, the participant's conduct to local law enforcement.
The intentional filing of a false report of a violation of these Standards of Conduct may result, at FCCI's sole discretion, the removal of the reporter from further participation in the New England Chocolate Festival and any future FCCI events.
A participant who has been removed for a violation of these Standards of Conduct or for intentionally filing a false report shall not be eligible for a refund of any fees or costs related to his or her participation in the New England Chocolate Festival or any future FCCI events.
A participant whose conduct results in personal injury to any FCCI employee or volunteer or damage to any FCCI property, or injury to any person or property to whom FCCI is contractually obligated, shall be liable for restitution to the fullest extent permitted by state law and for FCCI's legal costs, including but not limited to attorney's fees and the costs of arbitration.
II. Agreement to Exercise Reasonable Professional Judgment and Reasonable Care in Preparing, Serving, or Consuming of Food or Drink
In the course of the New England Chocolate Festival, participants may be invited to prepare or consume food or drink related to the purpose of the event. Accordingly, you hereby agree, as a condition of participation, to exercise reasonable professional judgment and reasonable care in the preparation, distribution, or consumption of any food or drink. You further agree to maintain any equipment used for food preparation or service in a safe condition.
For business entities, reasonable care shall include, but not be limited to, adhering to safe food and drink preparation practices, refusing to serve food or drink containing alcohol to minors, and securing and maintaining relevant insurance coverage. For all individual participants, reasonable care shall include, but not be limited to, independently assessing and avoiding the risk of allergic reactions prior to consuming food or drink.
III. Release of Liability for Food and Drink Related Activities
As a condition of participation, you agree to release, indemnify, and hold harmless FCCI, its Board of Directors, employees, volunteers, and agents from liability for any personal injury or property damage directly or incidentally related to the preparation, distribution, or consumption of food or drink in the course of the New England Chocolate Festival. This provision shall apply to liability for personal injury or property damage related to any food or drink not directly prepared or distributed by FCCI employees.
IV. Interpretation of this Agreement
Governing Law and Arbitration
The interpretation and enforcement of all parts of this Agreement shall be governed by the state law of Massachusetts. Any proceeding regarding this Agreement shall be subject to binding arbitration at a location determined by FCCI. Arbitration shall take place under a single arbitrator and rules of arbitration jointly agreed upon by the signatory and FCCI.
Fees for arbitration shall be shared equally by the signatory and FCCI.
The arbitrator shall have no authority to award punitive or exemplary damages. The arbitrator may award legal fees and costs, including attorneys fees and the costs of arbitration if he or she finds that the action under this Agreement was brought frivolously, without merit, or with the intention to harass or coerce the other party. The award or decision rendered by the arbitrator shall be final, binding and conclusive and judgment may be entered upon such award by any court.
If any provision of this Agreement or its application is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall remain in effect to the fullest extent possible and consistent with the purposes of this Agreement.
This Agreement may only be changed, waived, discharged or terminated by an
instrument in writing, agreed upon and executed by both the signatory and the Executive Director of FCCI.
By purchasing a ticket to attend the New England Chocolate Festival, I confirm that I have read, understood and hereby agree to be bound by this Agreement. I understand and agree that continuous adherence to this Agreement is a condition of my participation in the New England Chocolate Festival.