Davao eyes Geographical Indicator sign for cacao produce

POSITION Davao as the Cacao and chocolate capital of the Philippines, the Cacao Industry Development Association in Mindanao Inc. (Cidami) said.

Cidami with Department of Tourism and other stakeholders are now gearing up for a Geographical Indicator (GI) mark from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in a bid to position Davao cacao-based products in the global market and increase its marketability.

A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. 

Valente “Val” Turtur, executive director of Cidami told reporters at the sidelines of the 2nd Davao Chocolate Festival opening ceremony at the SM City Annex, Ecoland, Davao City on Friday that achieving this goal of securing a GI mark, the cacao industry should educate first the cacao farmers on the standards on quality cacao beans and other products.

“Maybe in three years’ time we can come up with that, at present we are still working on that but of course kailangan ng consultancy, we are still in the stage of educating the farmers because we cannot come up with the brand known for quality unless it would resonate from the farmers themselves,” he said adding that shifting from the farmers’ traditional culture to the new will be very challenging but possible.

He also said that of the over 16,000 cacao farmers in the city, only 20 percent are conscious of the cacao quality standards and that the association is doing measures on increasing the awareness of farmers through congress, seminars and exhibits like Davao Chocolate Festival.

“We want to instill through branding na pag Davao–Cacao chocolates the world would translate it as premium in volume and quality,” Turtur added.

According to DTI, GI is “a specific intellectual property right that designates a product from a specific region and whose characteristics result in both the natural conditions of its origin and the expertise of local producers. More commonly, a geographical indication consists of the name of origin of the goods or products.”

Turtur emphasized that consistently Davao’s cacao industry is performing well in supply and quality making it enough to be positioned as the caco and chocolate capital in the country.

Some of the registered chocolate makers based in the city who excelled globally are Malagos Chocolate, Puratos, Cacao de San Isidro, Coco Dulce, Chocolate Bean, among others.

“Our Cacao- based chocolate products here in Davao are artisan and gourmet chocolates, our chocolate products are 70 percent or more real chocolate,” Turtur said.

Meanwhile, Cidami in partnership with SM Malls is set to bring the chocolate festival in Manila next year to further promote Davao chocolates.

The 2nd Davao Chocolate Festival opens on Friday and will run until Sunday, September 27.
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