CEBU CITY — As the country needs to upgrade its cacao industry to be able to compete in the global market, the Philippines will be hosting another international cacao congress in Davao City in December.
Philippine Cacao Industry Council chairperson Valente Turtur said they will be inviting more traders from other countries as the local industry needs current updates and inputs from these foreign players on how to enhance the production and move up to the international market.
Turtur made the statement on Wednesday as they wrapped up the National Cacao Congress at the Grand Convention Center here.
“We need to be in the global competition, that’s why we need more inputs from global players,” Turtur said. “We need to penetrate the international market.”
Turtur said they will be inviting participants from new players in the Middle East and France along with previous delegates from Europe, the United States, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Netherlands, among many other countries.
Over a thousand delegates from different countries are expected to converge in Davao for the International Cacao Congress on December 5-6.
Department of Trade and Industry National Cacao Cluster coordinator Engr. Edwin Banquerigo said in 2007 only a few were farming cacao, but now there are 30,000 farmers in the country as the price of cacao is less prone to severe fluctuation.
“While the prices of agricultural commodities normally fluctuate and go down during peak season, the price of cacao is high during peak season, which is from October to late January,” Banquerigo said. “The peak season for cacao is coincidentally the inventory period for the Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and gift-giving seasons in some non-cacao growing countries like China and Japan.”
This is among the reasons why the local cacao industry needs upgrading, especially because cacao beans can be harvested every two weeks, said Banquerigo.
“If coconut is the tree of life and coffee is the tree of peace, cacao is the tree of love,” Banquerigo said in parting. PNA