Filipino farmer's cacao beans among top 20 in the world
Jose Saguban, a farmer from Davao, produces among the top cocoa beans in the world.
Auro Chocolate/Facebook

Filipino farmer's cacao beans among top 20 in the world

(Philstar.com) - October 31, 2019 - 4:45pm

MANILA, Philippines— A Filipino farmer’s cacao beans have been recognized among the top 20 in the world on Wednesday.

In August, Jose Saguban, a cocoa farmer from Davao, was chosen as one of the producers of the Top 50 best cocoa bean samples in the world at the prestigious 2019 International Cocoa Awards.

On Thursday, Saguban also won the main award for the Top 20 best cacao beans in the world at the same competition, which was held at Salon Du Chocolat 2019, in Paris, France.

Saguban is a farming partner of award-winning local chocolate brand Auro Chocolate.

"We won top 20 best cacao beans in the world for the most prestigious Cacao of Excellence Award — The first time for the Philippines!" the chocolate company announced.

Now on its tenth year, Cocoa of Excellence Programme is the entry-point for cocoa-producers to participate in the global competition International Cocoa Awards.

This competition recognizes the work of cocoa farmers and celebrates the diversity of cocoa flavors.

This year, the Cocoa of Excellence Technical committee received 223 samples from 55 coco-producing countries. The samples were transformed into liquor during the evaluation.  

Saguban was trained by chocolate expert and Auro Chocolate’s cocoa manager Louie Cena.

Cena also closely worked with the other members of the Paquibato Tree Developers Cooperative . He taught them fermentation protocols and helped them prepare the data and samples for submission sponsored by Auro and entered for the competition.

"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!" Auro wrote in a social media post.

"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!" it added. —Rosette Adel

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