An international chocolate producer will launch Belcolade, the real Belgian chocolate with a single origin of cacao beans exclusively sourced from Davao.

Bernard Poplimont, the area director for South East Asia of Puratos, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that Belcolade will be manufactured in their factory in Erembodegem in Belgium.

Puratos is an international group offering a full range of innovative products, raw materials and application expertise to the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors with its headquarters just outside Brussels (Belgium).

Belcolade, the real Belgian chocolate, is produced exclusively in Belgium following a long tradition of craftsmanship, quality and refinement.

Poplimont said the product would be launched this year and would be marketed worldwide. Belcolade is made from carefully selected cocoa beans using production processes that have been perfected over time, assuring its exquisite taste.

Poplimont said Puratos also developed Chocolante Philippines with 62 percent dark chocolate from cacao beans sourced only from Calinan, this city.

Chocolante is used for baking, confectionery, chocolate bars, and similar other products. He said the brand Chocolante is a regional chocolate in which the beans used in processing like the Chocolante Philippines only come from Davao.

The product is processed and manufactured in their plant in Vietnam and it is available in the Asian market.

Noting the high demand of cocoa beans in the market, Poplimont said Puratos is partnering with Kenneymer in helping farmers improve their production through the company’s Cacao Trace Program.

Cacao-Trace offers cocoa farmers an additional incentive on a premium linked to the quality of their cocoa beans. By improving the quality of their cocoa beans means that the more the farmer earns, the more motivated they will be to continue growing better quality cocoa beans.

And by earning more, farmers are able to invest in their farms, skills and families. He said the company teaches cacao farmers the right way of planting and growing the cacao which Puratos aims to help about 5,000 farmers in the region.

“We reward the farmers for following the proper procedure of fermentation and also following how to grow the cacao so one can get the best taste of the product,” he said.

The idea, he said is for every kilo of chocolate purchased they pay a “Chocolate Bonus” of 10 EU cents back to the farmers.

The simple and transparent payment scheme is unique in the market and ensures that 100 percent of the Chocolate Bonus reaches farmers through the Next Generation Foundation Cacao Foundation.

He said there is a need to improve in the growing of cacao and there is a lot of convincing with the farmers to plant cacao.

Meanwhile, Poplimont noted that their Davao market is evolving positively. He said the company’s performance in Mindanao is growing nicely right and the important thing is finding the right partners where in 2017 it has been a good year with the purchasing power of the people improving.

He said, “2018 is equally a good year as we feel the economy in the island keeps on growing.” Puratos was founded in 1919 and its products are available in over 100 countries around the world. (PNA)