Better quality of cacao beans is needed, say

The local cacao industry has shifted its goal to improving the quality rather than concentrating on increasing production because of the difficulty in achieving the latter, an executive of the industry said yesterday.

Although they are not totally abandoning the goal of increasing production, local cacao producers are also prioritizing their move to ensure that the quality of their produce will become better, said Valente D. Turtur, executive director of Cacao Industry Development of Mindanao, Inc., said during the weekly Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape – Abreeza.

Turtur lamented that the local producers turned down the request of a Czechoslovakian buyer to source 1,000 metric tons of beans from the region as they cannot supply it.

Although it is a wasted opportunity, Turtur is confident that something better will come out of the request.

Meanwhile, Turtur said the price of cacao in the region has not fluctuated owing to the presence of local processors and because its beans are considered as superior in quality.

Because of this, he said, local traders are looking at niche markets for specialty chocolate which command better prices.

β€œIn the niche market, there is a demand for 200,000 metric tons specialty chocolate so this is what we are targeting since we are still small. I will be glad if we can provide even up to 50,000 metric tons so long as it is premium quality,” Turtur explained.

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