PH applies membership at int'l cacao org

THE country will soon be part of the largest global organization for cocoa producing and consuming member countries next year after receiving numbers of international recognition for having quality cacao beans, an official said.

In an interview with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - Davao Assistant Regional Director Edwin Banquerigo, he said the application of the country to become a member of the International Cocoa Organization (Icco) will help the country's cacao industry to receive global market acceptance and acquire modern technology and programs for cacao development from other member countries.

Banquerigo added that this will also provide the country the final premium pricing of exported cacao that is globally-competent and will help expand the industry's network.

Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (Cidami) President Val Turtur, in a separate interview, said the country's application has to be made by the National Government as it is a state-based membership.

"That is why we had to partner with DTI to lobby our application as it is the only agency that responded among all the other agencies we reached out," Turtor said.

Banquerigo said Cidami, together with other cacao organizations, will be finalizing the needed details before the end of this year.

DTI, he said, targets to submit the membership application in January of next year.

"Our application is timely as well as the country will be receiving an accreditation that our chocolates are considered as an internationally fine flavor this month during a chocolate festival in Paris, France through Cidami President Val Turtur," he said.

On the other hand, Turtur said he will try to talk with other Icco official that will be present during the chocolate festival on how to expedite the country's membership application.
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