Press Releases

Salceda supports developing “Filipino brand” of chocolate; cites Davao model as success story in promoting Filipino agri export; PCA admin lauds Salceda role in creating Davao chocolate sector

August 7th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) emphasized the need for the promotion of a unique Filipino brand of chocolate as a means to boost the local cacao industry, during the hearings for various bills on institutionalizing a Philippine Cacao Development Program, creating for the purpose the Philippine Cacao Development Council, and appropriating funds therefor, by the Committee on Agriculture and Food, which Salceda is a vice chair of.

“There is an existing global demand of 142,000 tons of cacao and chocolate in the market, and that deficit is expected to grow to 190,000 tons next year. So, this is an area of agriculture where prices are expected to continue being promising for producers,” Salceda said.

Salceda added, however, that being a relatively small producer, “the advantage of the Philippines is not in producing more or higher-yield cacao, but in producing high-quality artisanal chocolate that we can export to a discriminating market willing to pay high prices.”

“We only produce around 9,400 tons of cacao every year, although this has been growing every year since 2011. Yield, however, has been declining from 0.53 tons in 2010 per hectare to 0.3 tons per hectare in 2020. So, from a mass production standpoint, we will not be able to compete,” Salceda added.

“So, we cannot reduce cacao to a commodity. It must be something more than that.”

“The working model is actually Malagos chocolate, which is an artisanal chocolate with its own brand – basically adopting the model of European products with a regional branding system – like Champagne or Parmesan cheese. Artisanal allows us to command our own price. That model was driven by now VP Sara Duterte,” Salceda added.

“In 2013, she led a massive cacao tree planting project in formerly rebel-occupied areas of Davao, while building the artisanal ecosystem which will use the produce. By the time demand increased, they had a reliable source of cacao beans to process. So, it’s not a question of agency, but a question of ecosystem and support.”

“We must compete in the artisanal space by creating a Philippine brand for cacao, much like our mangoes are well-known in the world, even when other countries also produce mangoes.”

Also during the hearing, Philippine Coconut Administration (PCA) head Benny Cruz, in a manifestation to the Committee, also expressed his agreement that both the cacao sector and the coconut sectors should be supported, and highlighted Salceda’s role in the rise of Davao chocolate.

“It was during Representative Salceda’s chairmanship of the Committee on Appropriations in 2006, when I was in the DAR, when the budget supported the agrarian reform beneficiaries planting cacao in Davao,” Cruz said.

Other Press Releases
Statement on the pronouncements against the Public Service Act amendments (RA 11659)
Read More
Statement on the February 2024 jobs report
Read More
Statement on the March 2024 inflation figures
Read More
The problem of access to Senior Citizen healthcare is structural, but it should be addressed alongside other issues with Senior Citizen welfare.
Read More