Cidami seeks trading of cacao products to Singapore-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
THE Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (Cidami) is presently holding talks with at least three large chocolate companies in Singapore for a possible exportation of processed cacao there.
Cidami executive director Val Turtur said two of the three firms are sourcing processed cacao products like powdered cacao from Malaysia, which is also importing roast fermented cacao beans from Davao Region.
The companies being negotiated by Cidami starting with the three-day Davao Tourism, Trade, and Investment Mission to Singapore last October 11 to 14 are Monoyono, SMC Foods PTY Limited and T and C, a subsidiary of a Japan-based chocolate firm.
Turtur said Monoyono made a commitment to import cocoa products from Davao and that a chocolate processor from the region will start shipping at least 1,000 packs of tablea to Singapore for the firm by January.
"They are also willing to display our products in their store. I even told them that by the time Filipino immigrants will get to see our cacao products, they will crowd their store," Turtur said, adding that chocolate drink is not common to Singaporeans.
The chocolate products sold in Monoyono are imported from USA, but the raw materials are possibly sourced from Davao Region.
Daito subsidiary T&C and Singapore-based firm SMC Foods have great demand for cocoa powder as fundamental ingredients for their chocolate products.
"They get their powdered cacao from a grind bean company in Malaysia," Turtur said.
If the Davao farmers can directly export to those firms, they can benefit from the possible export revenues, according to Turtur.
He, however, cannot give an estimate how much volume they can ship out to Singapore, but said the two firms are importing to Malaysia by big volume of refined cocoa powder at 150,000 metric tons (MT) a year.
While there's a domestic demand for cacao of around 55,000 a year, Davao Region can only supply around 7,000 MT. This also poses more challenge to the cacao farmers in the region.
The executive predicted that in two years time, cacao products from the country will finally penetrate the Singaporean market.
Turtur said the Department of Agriculture is planning to set up a grinding facility in Calinan, Davao City to be able to produce high-quality cocoa product for export.
The demand for cacao will also grow by 2020 from 4 million MT of dried fermented cacao beans to 5 million MT, the reason why Cidami encourages Davao farmers to embark on cacao plantations, or even just intercropping other crops with cacao trees.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 30, 2012.