THE Covid-19 pandemic has caused setbacks in the economic growth and industry development of the country. Despite the challenges faced, the Philippine Cacao Industry Council has strived to continue its commitment to move toward a prosperous cacao industry promoting inclusion and convergence among industry stakeholders.
At the start of 2021, the Philippine Cacao Industry Council led by chairperson Consul Armi Lopez Garcia is set to submit the country’s entries for the Cocoa of Excellence Programme and International Cocoa Awards, a global competition participated by 55 countries across the world.
The Cocoa of Excellence Programme was established to safeguard cocoa flavor diversity and improve farmers’ livelihoods through the promotion of high quality cocoa origins.
In October 2020, the Philippine Cacao Industry Council launched the 2021 Edition of the Philippine Cacao Quality Award (PCQA), a national cacao quality competition to promote high-quality cacao beans and celebrate the skills and expertise of Filipino cacao farmers.
In the competition, 23 entries from producing regions competed for the Top 6 Best Cacao Beans. Following the selection and evaluation of the PCQA-Technical Working Committee chaired by Charita Puentespina, Garcia officially announced and recognized the Top 6 winners of the Philippine Cacao Quality Award Competition.
"The results are very encouraging. I am indeed very happy that the candidates come from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This is an indication that our country is now gearing up to promote our Philippine cacao to the world. Hopefully, we can have a winner this year so that our quota will be increased from six to seven entries. To prepare for the next competition come 2023, the Philippine Cacao Industry Council in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and the other government agencies concerned, will endeavor to intensively educate our cacao farmers on the Good Agricultural Practices as well as on the Post- Harvest Technologies so that we can generate more entries to choose from to improve our chances of winning," Garcia said.
Top 6 Best Cacao Beans for the 2021 Edition of Philippine Cacao Quality Competition, in no particular order, are as follows:
* Region 6 - Christopher Fadriga of Barangay Atipuluan, Bago City, Negros
* Region 11 - Arthur Lagoc of Talandang, Tugbok, Davao City
* Region 11 - Solidad Robillo of Ong Village, Gumalang, Davao City
* Region 11 - Carlos Barsicula of Purok Cacao, Barangay Sawata, San Isidro, Davao del Norte
* Region 11 – Edwin Rodulfa of Manuel Guianga, Davao City
* Region 3 – Sherwin Paul Barrameda of Dipaculao, Baler, Aurora
The Cocoa of Excellence Programme is the entry point for cocoa producers to participate in the International Cocoa Awards, the most prestigious global competition that recognizes the work of cocoa farmers and celebrates the quality and flavor diversity of cocoas produced around the world.
The awarding ceremony will take place at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris on October 2021, the biggest international annual trade fair for the cocoa and chocolate industry.
This year, the Philippines has been given six slots for the competition. (PR)