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Pangasinan town celebrates ‘World Chocolate Day’

POZORRUBIO, Pangasinan (PIA) – The local government unit of Pozorrubio observes on July 7 the “World Chocolate Day” in a simple yet sweet celebration held at the Municipal Hall here that aims to promote the cacao farmers’ locally produced and processed chocolate products.

Pozorrubio Mayor Kelvin Chan said the celebration aims to help the farmers and members of the Cacao Growers and Marketing Cooperative further promote the local products of Pozorrubio cacao farmers and further strengthen the cacao farming and market.

“Matagal na po natin itong (cacao products) produkto dito sa Pozorrubio. Gusto namin na mas makilala pa ang Pozorrubio chocolates hindi lang dito sa bayan kung di sa buong bansa,” Chan said.

POZORRUBIO CHOCOLATES, ANYONE? Pozorrubio Mayor Kelvin Chan presents the locally produced chocolates of Pozorrubio farmers during the press conference held on July 7 at the Municipal Hall of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan. (Photo by: Odie Mamaril)

During the celebration, farmers were also trained by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on cacao and coffee production combined with good agricultural practices.

Chan said the activity also targets to encourage other farmers to plant cacao trees to further boost the production of Pozorrubio chocolates.

“Pozorrubio is known for its one-town-one-product such as sword products and patupat, but we would also like to be known as a chocolate producer town through the Cacao Growers and Marketing Cooperative,” Chan said.

The Cacao Growers and Marketing Cooperative (CGMC)  is created in 2016 when several cacao growers in the community attended a meeting with the Office of Provincial Agriculture (OPAg) and University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños, Laguna and learned about the potential of cacao as a source of income.

HAPPY WORLD CHOCOLATE DAY! Attendees of the of the celebration held on July 7 at the Municipal Hall of Pozorrubio town are all smiles as they greet "Happy World Chocolate Day! Photo by: Odie Mamaril
FREE CHOCOLATE | Attendees of the 'World Chocolate Day' celebration held on July 7 at the Municipal Hall of Pozorrubio town partakes in a buffet of free chocolates provided by the Cacao Growers and Marketing Cooperative (CGMC). Photo by: Odie Mamaril

Rosario Chua, chairman of CGMC, said the cooperative, which has now 26 members with a total land area of 18 hectares planted with 18,000 cacao trees, started through the help of programs of the national government such as DTI, DOST and DA.

Rosario Chua, chairman of CGMC, introduces the cooperative's new flavor of dark chocolate with chili during the 'World Chocolate Day' celebration held on July 7 at the Municipal Hall of Pozorrubio town. (photo by Odie Mamaril)

“Sa totoo lang mahal ang magproseso ng cacao dahil mahal ang mga equipment. Kung wala ang assistance ng gobyerno, di kami makapoproduce ng chocolates. Kaya sa amin, gagawin namin ang part namin at alam namin na andyan lang ang gobyerno na willing tumulong sa tulad naming maliit na negosyante,” Chua said.

DTI Assistant Regional Director Grace Lapastora said the CGMC is a beneficiary of DTI’s Shared Service Facility (SSF) from which they received in 2022 some various equipment such as roaster, grinder, glass door chiller, dehydrator, dehuller, stone melanger, chocolate melter, piston funnel all amounting to Php 889,800.00.

“The SSF Project is one of the banner programs of DTI that aims to improve competitiveness of MSMEs by providing equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system,” Lapastora said.

DOST Provincial Director Arnold Santos said the cooperative is one of the beneficiaries of the DOST 1's Community-Based Project in 2022 for the upgrade of their technology processing equipment such as Melanger and vibration machine and laboratory tests for their nine chocolate products.

In Region 1, there are only 20 cacao local processors. Of the number, eight were from Pangasinan, two are in Ilocos Norte, six in Ilocos Sur and four in La Union.

In Pangasinan, the eight cacao local processors are Cacao Growers and Marketing Cooperative, Cocoa Federico/Royal Cocoa Farm, Myrna’s Food Products,, Aquino’s Natural Chocolate Food Products, DPP Cacao Products, Mimi’s Cacao Processing and Estrella's Cacao Products Manufacturing. (JCR/AMB/EMSA/PIA Pangasinan)

About the Author

Elsha Marie Arguel

Information Officer II

Region 1

Information Officer II assigned at PIA Pangasinan located in Dagupan City

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