News Commentary

Davao City chocolate big winner in UK

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - There’s another big winner from Davao City.

The 100 percent unsweetened chocolate produced by Davao City-based Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. has bested international rivals and bagged the silver medal in the drinking chocolate competition at the Academy of Chocolate’s Eighth Golden Bean Awards held in London.

It is the third major international award for Malagos Agri-Ventures. In April last year, its premium 100 percent unsweetened chocolate won the bronze award for Best Unflavored Drinking Chocolate at the 2015 World Chocolate Awards in London. Later in October, the family-owned company’s 65 percent dark chocolate bagged the silver medal at the World Drinking Chocolate Competition in Hannover, Germany.

The latest award was announced last Sunday on the Academy of Chocolate’s website www.academyofchocolate.org.uk/awards.

The Academy of Chocolate, comprising professionals in the industry, recognizes excellence in fine chocolate making. It aims to raise public appreciation for fine chocolate and promote transparency in the sourcing of cocoa beans, the prime ingredient in chocolate.

Malagos Agri-Ventures processes fine chocolate from beans harvested from cacao trees grown in Malagos, in Davao City’s Baguio District. The company also supplies cacao seedlings, seeds and scions to farmers all over Mindanao.

Sales and marketing director Rex Puentespina and his mother Charita have been working closely with over 40 small farmers to produce single-origin premium chocolate, using cacao beans harvested from trees growing in the foothills of Mount Talomo in Davao.

“Winning the silver award this year, after our bronze triumph last year, proves that we strive to always be the best in what we do,” Rex Puentespina said, adding that winning three international awards within one year “is something every Filipino can be proud of.”

Malagos Agri-Ventures was set up in 2012 in Agdao, Davao City. It produces dark chocolates with 65, 72 and 85 percent cacao content as well as roasted cocoa nibs. The products are sold in select stores in the Philippines and exported to Singapore, London and the United States.

It received training in growing high-quality cacao beans from the Mars Cocoa Sustainability Team. Netherlands-based PUM or Programma Uitzending Managers, an organization of senior experts, provided assistance in fine chocolate making.

The corporation is part of the Puentespina Group of Companies, which is engaged in agricultural and fine foods enterprises, including orchid farms and a garden resort.



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