Social enterprise in Davao has one of the world’s best cacao beans
Carlos Barsicula, manager of Chokolate de San Isidro (CSI) in San Isidro, Davao del Norte produces one of the best cacao beans in the world, according to the Cocoa of Excellence (CoEx) Programme.
A renowned global competition, CoEx Programme is an entry point to participate in the International Cocoa Awards this coming October 2021 at Salon du Chocolat in Paris. In July, they released the top 50 best cacao beans in the world for 2021. Aside from Barsicula, two more cacao farmers from the Philippines made it to the list, Arthur Lagoc also from Davao and Christopher Fadriga, from Bago City, Negros Occidental. Over 235 samples of cocoa beans from different cacao producing countries around the world were selected and evaluated.
CSI has been making tablea or chocolate tablets since it started in 2009, when they were only able to produce few kilos of processed cacao tablets. It was only in 2016 that production of tablea has increased barely a year after the Department of Trade and Industry granted CSI the needed equipment that allowed them full mechanization of tablea production. With support from the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), CSI was able to purchase beans for its tablea and cacao nibs production.
PEF and CSI have been partners since 2013 to improve the lives of coconut and cacao farmers and strengthen the value chain of cacao in the area.