Celebrate Pinoy Cacao Farmers and Their Cacao Trace Efforts

1 Mar 2023


Puratos Philippines (PH) celebrates the first-ever Cacao Fiesta, a Cacao Trace tribute event for local cacao farmers in Mati, Davao Oriental. The Cacao Trace sustainability program ensures the best-tasting chocolates through mastery of fermentation and encourages the cacao farmers through training and awarding of chocolate bonuses. Aimed towards the same sustainable goal, Puratos PH collaborated with Kennemer Foods Incorporated to celebrate them for providing high-quality cacao beans.

General Manager and President of Puratos PH, Bernard Poplimont highlighted the Puratos commitment to providing better health, better life, and a better planet in his opening remarks. Showing utmost gratitude to the farmers, APAC Cacao Sourcing Manager Selene Scotton mentioned in her discussion that “if it were not for you (cacao farmers), we will not be able to enjoy the best-quality chocolates like our Chocolante Philippines”.

The breakout session of the event included a refresher training conducted for farmers on better cacao plantation care. And invited clients to have an in-depth learning session about Puratos and the benefits of carrying the Cacao Trace certificate in their restaurants and cafes. Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, emphasized the provincial government’s ongoing efforts to further develop and support the agriculture sector, “we have what it takes to succeed in agriculture, particularly cacao production.” And indeed, Belgian Ambassador Michel Parys mentions his hope for the province that “Davao Oriental will be the Capital of Sustainable Chocolate”, in his second visit to the city of Mati, which showcases his extensive support to Belgian businesses thriving in the province. And to support the Smart Regenerative Future study, Puratos PH donated to the Davao Oriental State University with computers and laptops to further advance their technology for better research.

After the morning of discussions, favorite fiesta games were enjoyed by the farmers, and a buffet lunch was served. And for the first time ever, farmers were served a variety of breads and pastries from the Chocolate Café concept made by Technical Advisors from Puratos PH to let them enjoy the cakes, croissants, and more from their cacao beans. The chocolate bonus incentives were then distributed to farmers in appreciation of their hard work and efforts, including a pouch of Chocolante Philippines Dark 62% and Chocolante Philippines Milk 44% to bring home to their families.

Ambassador Michel Parys and valued clients joined the Cacao Tour to explore where the trees were planted, learned how to take care of the trees better, and ensure the best-quality cacao fruits are produced. Then, back to the post-harvest fermentation center in Mati, to let customers experience the post-harvest fermentation process. And to cap off the day, the customers had a final session with Selene for an exclusive chocolate sensory, helping to further understand the different chocolate notes and flavor profiles.

Cacao Trace is beyond just a story. This program reaches cacao farmers in the Philippines and from around the world to create the highest quality of chocolates, cultivate a biodiverse environment to preserve and protect the cacao trees, and most especially add value to the livelihood of local cacao farmers. Cacao Trace aims to provide great-tasting chocolates while doing good to the farmers, customers, and the planet.

Special mention to the following:

  • Jonna Bickel, Vice President for Farmers & Community from Kennemer Foods Inc.
  • Felix Assad, Head of Ken Trade
  • Jojo Joson, Leads Climate and Environmental Program of Kennemer Foods Inc.
  • Nguyen Thin Thu Thao, Sustainability Manager of Puratos Grand-Place Indochina
  • Dr. Edito Sumile, Provincial Agriculture, Representative of Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon
  • Dr. Roy Ponce, Director and President of Davao Oriental State University