Davao Chocolate Festival opens Friday

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 September) — The Davao Chocolate Festival returns this year with hopes to give more cacao farmers and chocolate makers in the region a platform to showcase cacao-based products, while further developing interest in cacao product development.

SM City Davao, together with the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (CIDAMI), will open on Friday the festival, which will showcase chocolate processors, artisans, and purveyors.

The event will open in the morning with a ceremonial giant chocolate cake slicing, with activities and contests in the afternoon. There will be talks on chocolate making and the business behind it as well as, a search for the best chocolate dessert.

The event will also feature special guests, chefs Jackie Ang Po and Rolando Laudico, who will be talking about making and cooking chocolates.

CIDAMI executive director Val Turtur said in Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw that the core of the event is really to highlight Davao as a cacao-producing city.

Other than the usual chocolate exhibits, SM City Davao, which will be holding the event in the mall’s annex building, will handle tours for children and students to educate them about the processes involved in making chocolates.

SM City Davao assistant mall manager Nick Santos said local chocolate makers and artisans will be on the spotlight during the event. This year, there will be 20 exhibitors, including local chocolate artisans like Lara Mia, Coco Dolce, Kablon, Malagos, and Cacao de Davao.

Turtur said that since the event debuted last year, many of the cacao farmers under CIDAMI are now engaging in cacao processing and exploring ventures that involve chocolate products. By opening windows to promote value added products, he said that his can potentially increase the income of cacao growers as compared to just farming cacao.

The ripple effects of events like this, he said, can lead to inclusive growth and value of cacao that many farmers can benefit from.

Turtur said he hopes more and more farmers will learn to use modern technologies wisely in producing and processing cacao products because these can potentially increase yield and production.

The Davao Chocolate Festival will also hold interactive contests like scoring the festival’s Golden Ticket that entitles holders freebies (more chocolates) from the exhibitors.

A chocolate capsule is currently on display and customers may post about in social media. Guessing the number of chocolate coins the capsule contains gives them a chance to win a golden ticket. (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)