An advocate of cacao propagation has encouraged locals to patronize locally produce chocolates.
“We need to increase domestic consumption of locally-made chocolates as we still see a preference for cheap imported brands which hardly comes with a high amount of real chocolate,” said Lizabel G. Holganza, Cacao City Marketing Cooperative managing director.
Holganza said the 100% dark chocolate still leads the highest consumption among Filipinos. From the Cacao City’s consolidation, she also observed a “growing interest in the young mobile professional group in discovering and savoring these handcrafted cacao products.”
From the data acquired from the Department of Agriculture, the demand for cocoa in the global trading arena is expected to reach about 4.7 million metric tons by 2020. However, they also predicted a gap of one million metric tons on the same year which means that the cacao-producing countries must produce more.
In the case of the Philippines, the country only yields 15,000 metric tons of beans annually, a lot lower than Vietnam’s 50,000 metric tons annual production. Meanwhile, Davao region remains as the most dominant player in the cacao bean production side of the value chain accounting for about 80 percent of domestic production.
Holganza said the Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) program of the Department of Trade and Industry will “drive the cacao industry as the key contributor to economic empowerment.” The program basically aims to increase rural income and alleviate poverty.
Meanwhile, as part of promoting the local chocolates, local cacao and chocolate crafters are sharing the spotlight with the other entrepreneurs to showcase products made from Davao beans for this year’s Mindanao Trade Expo.