Malagos Chocolate penetrates North American market

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 June) – Homegrown Malagos Chocolate has started shipping its award-winning dried fermented cacao beans from Davao City to Canada, hoping to gain a foothold in the North American market.

The Malagos Chocolate Museum in Davao City. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

Rex Puentespina, sales and marketing director of Malagos Agri Venture Corp., said in an interview on Wednesday that Davao’s fine-flavor chocolate company has shipped dried and fermented cacao beans to Canada to introduce the locally grown beans to the markets in North America.

Puentespina said the firm opened a branch in Canada to strengthen the presence of Malagos Chocolate there.

He said the 23-country North American region could offer a promising future for the local cacao industry as it has a huge demand for fine-flavor chocolates.

“Hopefully, more [buyers] would be able to try it, and they will realize that they are very good fine-flavor beans. Hopefully, they will order in bigger volumes,” he said.

Puentespina added the company had previously shipped to the United States market but it halted due to insufficient production because there were few cacao growers then, whose outputs were sufficient only to cater to the strong local demand.

He said they are trying to convince more farmers to grow cacao trees to ramp up production despite the reluctance of some farmers in taking on the challenge since other cash crops like banana could also offer them the livelihood.

“It’s the choice of the farmer. Banana is doing very well also. So there is a lot of convincing to do. The government has so many programs for the farmers, but they can’t just go into it because they are hesitant to commit. If they commit, that will be your crops for the next 25 years,” he said.

Puentespina admitted venturing into cacao growing is major decision that has to be made by the farmers, but he remains hopeful that more growers would be encouraged to give it a shot.

He said Malagos Chocolate has partnered with around 100 farmers in the city.

Malagos Chocolate has bagged various international recognitions and awards for its fine-flavor chocolates.

Among the recent ones included silver in 2020 Academy of Chocolate Awards for its Malagos rhum; 2019 Heirloom Cacao designation; bronze for its 100% pure unsweetened chocolate in 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards; Great Taste 1-Star in 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards Commendation for its 65% dark chocolate; bronze in 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards for 72% HCP # 16; gold in 2019 International Chocolate Awards-Asia Pacific (country award), and silver in 2019 International Chocolate Awards-Asia Pacific, 2019 Great Taste 1-star, 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards Commendation for its 72% dark chocolate; bronze in 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards for truffle; silver in 2010 International Chocolate Awards-Asia Pacific and bronze in 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards for rhum; silver in 2019 International Chocolate Awards-Asia Pacific for salted caramel; and silver in 2019 International Chocolate Awards-Asia Pacific for whiskey. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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