AN OFFICIAL from the National Dairy Association (NDA) calls for more support from the cacao and cocoa industry in the Philippines in making more locally-made dairy products.

We invite cacao, cocoa farmers na makapag-produce ng ingredients doon sa ating dairy products, Marlon Flores, officer-in-charge (OIC) department manager of NDA Southern Mindanao, said during the AgriBiz Forum at SM Lanang Premier, April 18, 2023.

He said there are specific requirements for cacao, cocoa, and even sugar to be blended with dairy products. He added that it also depends on their quality and the coarseness of the ingredient being used.

Maganda iyan, dapat magtutulungan iyong cacao industry at yung sugar kailangan din natin& para matulungan din natin iyong ibang mga commodity, Flores said.

Flores also said they are working towards collaborating with the cacao industry, but as of yet, there are only a few who have been in talks with NDA yet.

Some of them are in talks with NDA regarding which powderized cacao or cocoa will be compatible with local dairy.

Tini-test pa kasi iyong compatibility ng product na after i-mix yung mga cacao, cocoa, kasi [minsan] hindi talaga siya nagse-settle down [sa mixture], talagang homogenous siya (So far were testing the cacao or cocoa if it suits with our milk products, as sometimes it does not settle down within the mixture), Flores said.

But we are going to that [direction of partnerships with the cacao and cocoa industry], Flores added.

Flores also said local coffee shops are collaborating with local milk producers and farmers.

Kasi maganda yung combination nung coffee nila sa [local] fresh milk (The combination of our fresh milk and their coffee was good), talagang mas creamier, Flores said.

Flores said only one percent of dairy products are locally-produced, and basically the other 99 percent is imported from other countries.

Our [local dairy] production [is] roughly one percent and we are importing milk and milk products from outside [foreign countries], Flores said.

Kung gusto natin mag-increase talaga [ang production] dapat may funding tayo at support ng national leaders natin (If we want to increase our production we need enough funding and support from our national leaders), Flores added.