Japan’s Isetan department store now sells chocolates made from Philippine cacao beans
JAPAN’S Isetan Mitsukoshi Group recently launched a new chocolate brand using cacao beans sourced from four Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, according to the trade department.
In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investments Promotion Group (DTI-TIPG) said Japan’s largest department store group sourced the cacao beans from Davao-based Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc. for its Nayuta Chocolatasia brand.
Aside from the Philippines, Isetan is also sourcing cacao beans from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia for the chocolate “formulated to match the Asian palate.”
“The presence of Philippine cacao beans in the mainstream Japanese market is a clear manifestation that our produce are truly world-class. With sufficient support and aggressive marketing strategies being implemented by various private and public sector partners, we hope more and more Philippine goods will join the global market,” Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotions Group Nora K. Terrado was quoted as saying.
According to DTI, Mindanao accounts for 90% of the country’s cacao production, with 80% coming from Davao region.
The Philippines produces around 10,000 metric tons ( MT) of cacao annually, amid 50,000 MT domestic demand. To address this, the DTI and Department of Agriculture committed to increase the local yield to 100,000 MT by 2020.
According to data from the Department of Agriculture, the global demand for cacao is expected to hit between 4.7 million to 5 million metric tons (MT) by 2020. However, a global cacao shortage of 1 million MT is also expected by 2020.
Through its shared-service facilities, DTI has provided 16 cacao-processing facilities to micro-,small and medium enterprises to boost the production of the high-value crop. —