PEF partners showcase chocolate products at Kakao Konek 2019
Davao City - The Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and its four social enterprise partners took part in the annual Kakao Konek 2019, a gathering of cacao and chocolate producers, at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City last October 17-18.
Rehoboth Agriculture Cooperative, Subasta Integrated Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Fardeco Multipurpose Cooperative, and Cabinuangan Small Coconut Farmers Cooperative joined 100 chocolate makers from all over the country to promote their products like fermented beans, tablea, chocolate jam, chocolate bars, and cacao nibs.
In her presentation during the event, PEF’s Marieanne Itol said that supporting cacao farmers is part of the area focused approach of PEF in creating self-sustaining households in the areas of Davao region and Zamboanga del Norte.
“(An) example of what we are doing is the coconut-cacao program in San Isidro, Davao del Norte. We provided our partners with support like grants to establish demo farms, assistance for production loan, and clustering and consolidation of the produce of the farmers.” she said.
Itol also noted that PEF is exploring other crops to cultivate like banana and integrate other livelihood programs in the area while waiting for the harvest season.
According to Rehoboth General Manager Lolita Pinoon, the annual KakaoKonek provides an avenue for local chocolate makers to linkages and opportunities to learn how to market their products.
“Through KakaoKonek, nagkakaroon kami ng market. Nagbibigay din sa’min ng insights ‘yung ibang mga kasama naming sumali sa event,” she said.
Subasta General Manager Germenies Baon, meanwhile, said that the KakaoKonek is an opportunity for cooperatives to highlight their products and seek out prospective buyers.
Kakao Konek is the biggest cacao and chocolate event in the Philippines organized by the country’s leading cacao value chain organization Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (CIDAMI).