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National Cacao Congress 2022

The Philippine Cacao Industry Association, Inc. (PCIA, Inc.) in partnership with the Philippine Cacao Industry Council (PCIC), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA) are organizing a face-to-face National Cacao Congress and Cacao & Chocolate Exhibit on November 24-25, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center, Davao City. The activity targets to bring together 1,800 participants and 70 exhibitors from all over the country to participate in the biggest cacao event in the Philippines.

The objectives of the congress are as follows:
• Ascertain the global, local supply, and market conditions;
• Assess cacao suitability in different geographic locations;
• Come up with upscaling strategies/way forward to address cacao industry suitability and sustainability; and
• Identify cacao programs, activities, projects (PAPs), and mainstreaming of government agencies’ PAPs.

Being a commodity, the cacao market will experience uptrends and downtrends. Earlier, when the world market for palm oil was high, the biggest world supplier of cacao, the Ivory Coast, replaced a huge part of their cacao plantations with palm oil. This opened a big market opportunity for cacao to other Southeast Asian countries that are located above and below the equator like the Philippines. The ICCO shared the good news that the statistics of the Cacao Asian Market are up today.

Filipino cacao farmers were recognized as the best cacao beans producers for the last three consecutive International Cocoa Awards. In the last year’s International Cocoa Awards, the Philippines garnered three (3) major awards, two (2) gold winners, one from Davao and another from Western Visayas Regions, and one (1) silver from Davao Region.

Our cacao farmers need to be efficient producers. It is important to discuss the various soil suitability maps showing where cacao is suitable for planting in the Philippines. This will guide our cacao farmers where it is viable and profitable to plant cacao based on the studies conducted by the Department of Agriculture on soil suitability maps for planting cacao. Moreover, this will also help our cacao farmers attain the target production of 2 kilograms per tree per year of quality fermented beans, and continue to gain international recognition to make money.

The National Cacao Congress will be the culmination event of the three (3) Virtual Island Cacao Congresses in September 2022. These congresses are the council’s attempt to help all cacao stakeholders in their respective cacao endeavors/projects. During the National Cacao Congress, the Island Vice-Chairpersons of the Philippine Cacao Industry Council will present and discuss the resolutions and recommendations generated by these congresses. New strategies and programs will be identified.

One of the Congress’ highlights is showcasing the chocolate and cacao products from all regions and provinces of the country. International cacao traders, chocolate processors, and experts will share the global and domestic cacao market situations. The two-day conference will also cover ways to improve output in the Philippines so that farmers may achieve the required profitability and sustainability. Further, the event will also feature the Awarding Ceremony for the Philippine Cacao Quality Awards (PCQA) 2022 to recognize the Top 6 farmers producing the Best Cacao Beans.

Invited to attend the National Cacao Congress are 1,800 Cacao stakeholders and LGUs from all over the Philippines who are involved in the cacao value chain, such as private cocoa producers, and cacao and chocolate processors. Also invited are government agencies actively supporting the cacao industry (i.e., PCA, DOST, DAR, TESDA, DOLE, PIA, DSWD, etc.). The National Cacao Congress aims to reformulate plans and strategies to meet these changes and new challenges to guide the cacao stakeholders.