Bean-to-bar company Auro Chocolate, whose produce is among the Top 20 Best Cacao Beans in the World, has become the first Philippine company to provide cacao beans to the European market after shipping 20,000 kilograms of Mindanao-sourced cacao beans to Antwerp, Belgium on Apr. 16. Five varieties of cacao beans reached European ports, including the 2019 Cacao of Excellence Award-winning Paquibato Origin.

The Philippine Trade and Investment Center Brussels (PTIC), in collaboration with the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and the Regional Operations Group, enabled European cacao and chocolate experts to take part in the International Food Exhibit and visit cacao farms in Mindanao in May 2019. Antwerp-based company Silva Cacao was among the delegates and was responsible for bringing the shipment to Belgium. 

“We are very grateful that the PTIC helped paved the way for us to learn more about Philippine cacao. We discovered amazing qualities. And with this award for the Paquibato cacao, the Philippines is in the Top 20 best cacaos worldwide, and even in the Top 5 in Asia. Never before has a Philippine cacao won this award; it is indeed a recognition of the premium cacao produced in the country,” says Silva Cacao general manager Katrien Delaet.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that Auro Chocolate penetrating Europe not only introduces Philippine cacao to reputable markets, but it also strengthens Filipino farmers’ pride in Western trade. Lopez added that this shall serve as a silver lining and inspiration for the agricultural sector, especially amid this global health crisis.