“This recent award gives us a greater platform to highlight the unspoken heroes of the Philippines: Filipino farmers,” says Mark Ocampo, co-founder of award-winning bean-to-bar company Auro Chocolate.

Auro Chocolate brought pride to Filipino chocolatiers and cacao farmers as it placed among the Top 20 Best Cacao Beans in the World for the Cacao of Excellence Award at the recent Salon Du Chocolat held in Paris, France last October 30. Salon Du Chocolat is the chocolate industry’s biggest event in the world, and Auro’s victory marks the first time a Philippine chocolate company bagged an award.

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***BREAKING NEWS: WE WON TOP 20 BEST CACAO BEANS IN THE WORLD FOR THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS CACAO Of EXCELLENCE AWARD — FIRST TIME FOR THE PHILIPPINES! 🇵🇭 *** . . We won!!! Not only did Mang Jose Sagoban of Paquibato, Davao make it to the Top 50, he also won the main award for TOP 20 best cacao beans in the world !!! . It’s been a long journey since we started working with Mang Jose who was trained by our resident expert Louie on quality and proper fermentation . . When we found out he made it to the Top 50, we were already ecstatic so we decided to bring him to Paris to receive his award in person. but WOW! Little did we know he would make it to the Top 20 best cacao beans in the world, we have no words ! . Thank you to Mang Jose for his hard work, dedication and motivation to keep getting better ! . What a great moment for the Philippines and Filipino farmers ! . MABUHAY !!! . . #aurochocolate #auro #singleorigincacao #singleoriginchocolate #singleestatecacao #paquibato #beantobar #beantobarchocolate #beantobarchocolatemaker #philippines #cacao #philippinecacao #proudlyfilipino #cacaoofexcellence #coex2019

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One of Auro Chocolate’s original farming partners, Jose Sugban or more commonly referred to as Mang Jose, received the award. His cacao beans were previously drafted to be part of the Top 50 out of 223 samples from 55 countries. Before being listed in the final 20, the world’s best 50 samples were processed into chocolate and then assessed through a flavor sensory evaluation by the Cocoa of Excellence technical committee and a broad panel of professionals.

“We hope that Mang Jose’s win inspires a new generation of farmers to continue their legacy and to know that even if you come from the smallest of the small, you could be nurturing something truly special,” says Ocampo.

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***CACAO OF EXCELLENCE: Top 50 Best Cacao Beans in the World!!!*** . . We are honored that one of our original farming partners, Mr. Jose Saguban, has been selected among the 🎉 Top 50 best cacao beans in the world and the only one to represent the Philippines for the prestigious Cacao of Excellence Award this year! 🎉 . . Our cacao manager Louie Cena has been working closely with Mang Jose and other members of the Paquibato Tree Developers Cooperative (PTDC) from the very beginning, mentoring them on fermentation protocols and helping them prepare the data and samples for submission which we sponsored and entered for the competition ❤️ . . It was a joint effort with other members of the cooperative using Auro’s post-harvest protocols as a result of our partnership and we couldn’t be happier ! . 🏆 The award will be given during Salon Du Chocolat 2019, the largest chocolate show in the world! From being selected, we move on to the final stage wherein the cacao beans will then be crafted into chocolate and judged for the Top 12! Wish us luck 🏆! . ❤️🙏🏼 We’d like to thank all of our farming partners for working tirelessly to improve quality and not just put the Philippines on the map for cacao beans but for showing the world, we can make gold 🙏🏼❤️ ! . #proudlyfilipino #cacaobeans #beantobar #singleorigin #chocolate #aurochocolate #cacaoofexcellence #Top50 #awardwinning #philippines #filipino #filipinofood #foodphilippines #farm #farmers #agriculture

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Auro Chocolate has been working with Mang Jose for five years already, “nurturing and refining his process.” The company’s collaboration with Mang Jose was a pilot project to uncover new areas and to change the lives of their community. Upon seeing the changes brought about by the said project, local farmers were encouraged to nurture cacao as well. This is exactly what Auro Chocolate hopes for: to spread the word on how Filipino cacao can become globally competitive 

What makes Philippine cacao stand out, according to Ocampo, is the rich history of native cacao in the Philippines and the hard work behind the process. He described Mang Jose’s cacao as bearing the flavors of the land and the unique characteristics of Philippine produce. As the Philippine chocolate industry takes a leading role in the world’s agricultural sector, the people working behind the well-known brands deserve far more than just fleeting attention.

“We hope for continuous improvement and to spread Philippine chocolate further than ever before. We hope to give more justice to other farmers like Mang Jose and his community. And to further cement that we as Filipinos can produce something great to stand with the rest of the world,” Ocampo says.

Founded in 2015, Auro Chocolate has been working closely with farmers from whom they directly purchase cacao beans, providing them constant support and aiding them with knowledge on the fundamentals of organic farming and business management. With the other members of the Paquibato Tree Developers Cooperative, Auro Chocolate aims to continue empowering farmers and looks forward to a lasting sustainable partnership with them. 

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