The Philippines has four representatives who are expected to compete in the 2021 International Cocoa Awards (ICA) during the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, France in October.
The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao announced the participants of which three cacao growers have come from Davao Region, including one from Negros Occidental.
The Davaoeño participants are Arthur Lagoc, of Barangay Talandang, Tugbok District; Solidad Robillo, of Barangay Gumalang, Baguio District in Davao City; and Carlos Brasicula, of Barangay Sawata in the province of Davao del Norte. Christopher Fadriga of Barangay Atipuluan in Bago City, the final cacao farmer, hails from Negros Occidental.
They were selected after winning the 2021 Philippine Cacao Quality Award (PCQA) out of 23 entries nationwide.
Charita Puentespina, Puentespina Farms founder and this year’s PCQA organizing committee chair, said they want to raise awareness about the opportunities in the cacao industry “by showcasing not just the best practices of our cacao farmers but the quality of their produce in the international arena.”
This will open more opportunities for local cacao growers to establish international market linkages in this kind of international competition in which global cacao planters will participate.
Initial screening was done on the entries’ aroma, external appearance, fissuring, and color of the cacao beans while a group of chocolatiers made the second and final judging.
Puentespina Farms, maker of the world-class Malagos Chocolate, has bagged numerous international recognitions for its chocolate products, winning “Best 50 Beans in the World” in 2017.
Jose Saguban, a cacao farmer from Kialaw, Malabog in Paquibato District, Davao City, won the first Top 20 Best Cacao Beans Award in Salon du Chocolat Paris in 2019.