French firm to source ca­cao from Davao

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS - By Bomie Lane S. Castillo

A FA­MOUS French choco­late com­pany will be sourc­ing its ca­cao beans from Davao-based ca­cao farmers after its visit in the city last week, ap­plaud­ing the qual­ity and taste of the city’s ca­cao beans.

Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try 11 (DTI 11) As­sis­tant Regional Direc­tor Ed­win Ban­querigo, in an in­ter­view, said Val­rhona, a French choco­late com­pany, which is fa­mous for its high-qual­ity choco­late prod­ucts that are in­ter­na­tion­ally-ex­ported, has de­cided to source from Philip­pines after hear­ing nu­mer­ous good re­views from other in­ter­na­tional choco­late mak­ers about the qual­ity of the coun­try’s ca­cao beans.

In the Philip­pines, Ban­querigo said Val­rhona chose Davao City’s ca­cao beans due to its qual­ity taste that is dif­fer­ent from the other ca­cao grown in the coun­try.

“Dif­fer­ent places, dif­fer­ent fla­vors. And so far, most in­ter­na­tional companies al­ways pre­fer the choco­late here in our city,” he said.

Ban­querigo said DTI gave Val­rhona, dur­ing their re­cent visit, 15 kilo­grams of ca­cao beans for them to bring to Paris, France for fur­ther taste tests with other choco­late mak­ers.

He added that the Depart­ment will be send­ing an­other 10 kilo­grams of

ca­cao beans next month in ad­di­tion to the pre­vi­ous sam­ples they have given.

“Our agree­ment, along with Ca­cao In­dus­try Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Min­danao, Inc (Ci­dami), is to ship 25 met­ric tons of co­coa beans quar­terly straight to Paris,” Ban­querigo said.

With Valhrona’s sup­ply de­mand, he said the coun­try can suf­fi­ciently pro­vide it as the national ca­cao pro­duc­tion is 12,000 met­ric tons an­nu­ally.

Mean­while, a Swiss choco­late com­pany has shown in­ter­est to source 1,000 met­ric tons of ca­cao beans from the city’s grow­ers.

Ban­querigo said DTI and Ci­dami will be as­sess­ing which among the ca­cao grow­ers in the city will sup­ply the two in­ter­na­tional choco­late companies.

“We want to fea­ture our small ca­cao grow­ers to give them the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand their busi­ness and en­cour­age more farmers to con­sider ca­cao farm­ing,” he said.

At present, DTI is at the fi­nal plan­ning re­gard­ing the ca­cao ship­ment for Valhrona.

Ban­querigo added that DTI will be in con­stant di­a­logue with Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (DA), Ci­dami, and other or­ga­ni­za­tions of co­coa farmers to dis­cuss the de­tails on the sus­tain­abil­ity of ca­cao pro­duc­tion amid the in­creas­ing num­bers for­eign companies sourc­ing ca­cao beans. BSC

FILE PHOTO/KING RO­DRIGUEZ

QUAL­ITY CA­CAOS. Due to the high qual­ity and taste of ca­caos from Davao City, a French choco­late com­pany has set its eyes on sourc­ing the com­mod­ity from here.

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