MANILA, Philippines - A non-profit and membership-based organization with approximately 70 member companies involved in the cocoa and chocolate industries around the world representing over 80 percent of the global market has offered to work with the Philippines and other Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries in developing joint strategies towards promoting social and economic development as well as environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities.
In a meeting with officials of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) president Bill Guyton disclosed that the 10-year outlook for cacao shows a likely huge demand over supply gap as he emphasized the need for a sustainable supply.
Guyton also invited participants from the Philippines to the upcoming WCF 21st partnership meeting and roundtable sessions in Washington, D.C. on June 13 and 14, which has the theme ''Better Cocoa: Driving Transformation & Measuring Success.''
For her part, WCF Program Manager Virginia Sopyla shared highlights of her recent trip to the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, where there has been enthusiasm in cacao production and processing among farmers and local governments, including the city of Davao.
She also observed the potential of cacao in diversifying the income of farmers, such as by intercropping cacao with coconut and other crops.