Many thanks to Balrly Valenzuela for this lovely photo. Cacao planting is not only for men 🙂 Try it in your nurseries or even in your own backyard! #girlpower #gogirl #friendsinplantingfriendsforlife #cacao #cacaofarming #organic #organicfarming #friends #laughter #goodvibes #Philippines #ourhardworkyoursikwate #chocolates #sikwate #yum #yummy #plantaciondesikwate #proudlypinoy
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PDS National Officers met in Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association Inc. Cebu City Office with Ms. Ma. Emma A. Ramas who accepted her appointment as the new National Secretary of PDS. In the photo are Mr. Christopher Fadriga, President, Mr. Mel Santos, Vice-Chairman and Mr. Nestor V. Saludo, PDS Member, Cebu Chapter.
The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized the first Bohol Cacao Summit and Exposition last September 3, 2016. It ran from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at Kew Hotel, Tagbilaran City.
The event aimed to gather together multi-stakeholders composed of partners from the business community, farmers, young entrepreneurs, partners from national line agencies, local government units and academe.The Summit aimed to inculcate awareness of the huge potential of the Province of Bohol to expand in cacao production and further gain strength within the industry while ensuring the security and continuity of production in order to respond to the increasing demand of chocolate producers in the country, in the ASEAN community and around the world. The one-day event covered important details of cacao farming and the sustainability of cacao supply in the Philippines.
The summit was brought to you by Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with Province of Bohol, Department of Trade and Industry Bohol, Department of Science and Technology Bohol,Department of Agriculture, Department of Education Bohol Division, Bohol Island State University Bilar Campus, Plantacion De Sikwate, Atbang Farm, Ginto Chocolates and Bohol Bee Farm.
PDS Vice Chairman, Mr. Melencio Santos, National President, Mr. Christopher Fadriga, PDS Honorary Founding Member Mr. Rene Pamintuan and PDS Cebu Chapter Member Mr. Nestor Saludo, arrived at KEW Hotel for the Bohol Summit and Exposition 2016.
Candid moments with the Bohol chocolate Princess Ms. Dalareich Polot and Maam Neneng (Ainerfe Cantoneros Holt) in the 1st Bohol Cacao Summit and Exposition 2016
Mr. Christopher Fadriga, Mr. Melencio Santos and Mr. Robert Olaer.
Congratulations to the prime movers and shakers of the 1st Bohol Cacao Summit and Exposition 2016!!!
PDS Vice Chairman, Mr. Melencio Santos was given a Certificate of Commendation by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Engr. Albert Uy.
PDS President, Mr. Christopher Fadriga was given a Certificate of Commendation by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Engr. Albert Uy. Also in the photo is Ms. Ainerfe Cantoneros Holt, Chair, Committee on Agriculture.
Thank you very much to the Bohol Chamber of Commerce for these beautiful photos of the event.
Thank you Bohol Republic for this feature.
Summit sweetens emerging Bohol cacao industry
Some like their chocolates and sikwate sweet, some like theirs bitter; but everyone will like a sweeter, better cacao industry in Bohol as both government agencies and private organizations offer more and more initiatives pushing for its growth and expansion.
This was the consensus during the first Bohol Cacao Summit and Exposition, on Friday, the 2nd of September 2016 at the Kew Hotel this city, which gathered more than 95 cacao stakeholders from Bohol, Manila, Samar, Cagayan de Oro and Dumaguete.
Comprised of representatives from government agencies from the provincial and regional levels, cacao exporters, cacao farmers, cacao researchers, chocolatiers, and cacao enthusiasts, the summit participants converged to listen to inspirational and educational talks by industry experts, network with other industry players, and unite as one Bohol Coalition of Advocates and Cacao Growers (CaCAO).
Discussions at the summit ran the gamut of the cacao production value chain process, including chocolate production.
Christopher L. Fadriga, National President of the Plantacion de Sikwate (PDS) Cacao Producers Association, Inc., the cacao research and development, and advocacy group initiated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of Davao City, gave an overview on cacao farming from soil treatment, nursery, propagation and cultural management, pest management and post-harvest.
Melencio G. Santos, PDS Board of Directors Vice Chairman, then presented their plan for a proposed cacao nursery in Bohol, which shall be operated by a PDS Bohol Chapter. Mr. Santos pointed out that planning what cacao variety to propagate in Bohol is essential as quality trumps quantity in the cacao industry. “Start right”, he advised.
While cacao planting is not new to Bohol, as backyard cacao trees and the making of tableya and drinking of sikwate has been a Boholano fixture since the rule of the Spanish, who brought these ‘food for the gods’ from the Americas into the country via the galleon trade, the so-called ‘cacao industry’ in the province is still in its inception stage.
Despite the presence of major international cacao exporter Kennemer Foods International, Inc. in Carmen town, Bohol still only accounts for perhaps a fraction of 1% of the cacao production in the country. Davao Region owns the lion share (80%) of the multimillion dollar Philippine cacao production; rest of Mindanao produces the other 10%, while Luzon and Visayas combined, claim the remaining 10%.
Currently, Bohol’s own cacao consumption cannot be met by our own production. Dalareich Polot, chocolatier and CEO of Ginto Luxury Chocolates, says she has to import cacao beans from Davao to meet her company’s and the family business’ (Dalareich Food Products) cacao needs. Ms. Polot staunchly advocates for more cacao production in Bohol. There is not only a growing demand of cacao globally, but also in Bohol itself.
Plantacion de Sikwate’s Melencio Santos advised Bohol to not only plant and export seeds, but, as much as possible, keep the seeds in Bohol, not only for Bohol’s own consumption, but to add value to these by creating cacao by-products in the province itself before exporting them to other provinces and out of the country.
For his part, Rene Pamintuan, President of Natural Farmers Institute of the Philippines and CEO of Bayside Transport and Logistics Corporation, presented the stark realities of Philippine logistics. Logistics, the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and point of consumption, is an oft-omitted topic but is very crucial as it could account for nearly 50% of business expenses. While there are very few international ports in the Philippines, Bohol can take advantage of the neighboring Cebu international port (the only export port in Visayas), Pamintuan offered.
Other speakers included Prof. Jose T. Travero and Dr. Marina A. Labonite from the Bohol Island State University (BISU) – Bilar (Cacao Pests and Diseases), Eric L. Albano, Area Manager of Kennemer Foods (Fermentation/ Exportable Standards of Quality Cacao Beans), Vina Antopina, chocolatier and Assistant Provincial Director of DOST-Bohol (Understanding the Chocolate Industry), and Nelia T. Navarro of DTI Region 7 (Understanding the Cacao Enterprise).
To cap the event and encourage more cacao industry players in Bohol, representatives from the First Consolidated Bank (FCB), Plantacion de Sikwate, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Agriculture Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) paraded the many programs and support services (financing and technical backing, among others) that their organizations offer to existing and incoming Bohol Cacao Growers.
Provincial Administrator Alfonso ‘Ae’ R. Damalerio, representing Bohol Governor Edgar M. Chatto, committed full support to the Bohol cacao industry.
The first Bohol Cacao Summit and Exposition was organized by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), its Agriculture Committee, in particular (chaired by Ms. Efrenia C. Holt), in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Bohol, Department of Trade and Industry Bohol, Department of Science and Technology Bohol, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education Bohol Division, Bohol Island State University Bilar Campus, Plantacion De Sikwate, Atbang Farm, Ginto Chocolates, and the Bohol Bee Farm.
Similar fora and meetings held here before lumped cacao with other Bohol products such as coffee and ubi. This first business sector –initiated cacao-concentrated summit promises a bright outlook for the Bohol cacao industry as aims to realize the summit theme “Bohol Cacao Growers: From Bohol to the World”.
Plantacion de Sikwate is led by some of the prime-movers in their respective industries. They are brought together by a common goal which is to enrich the lives of cacao farmers in the country. They believe in taking the next step to bring the Philippines back to its glory days as being one of the resources for cacao planting, production, and more. Their association may have started in 2014 but the respective members have over 20 years of experience in the field.
Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board Cyrus G. Obsuna
Vice Chairman Melencio G. Santos
BOD – Secretary Sergio B. Opeña
BOD- Treasurer Omar A. Janducayan
BOD- Auditor Mario C. Peregrino
Christopher L. Fadriga
Bro. Noelvic H. Deloria SC.
Joaquin C. Oquiñena
Rey S. Cabingatan
President Christopher L. Fadriga
VP – Luzon Rolando de luna Bolinao
VP- Visayas Dale Bernas
VP- Mindanao Alberto D. Dalisay
Managing Director Melencio G. Santos
Secretary Emma Ramas
Treasurer Omar A. Janducayan
Strategic Planning Officer (Luzon) Manuel Carpio
Strategic Planning Officer (Mindanao) Etol Laurente
Media Information Administrator/Marketing Mia Concepcion
Focal Person-International Antonio Grafilo
Focal Person-National (Bicol) Romella Fabula
Membership Officer Roel J. Antiporda
Research/Development Officer Raymundo Santos
Honorary Founding Members
- President Emeritus /Founder-Filipino American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Founder One World Institute
- Ambassador of Goodwill, CA. USA
William D. Dar
- President – Inang Lupa Movement
- Former DA Secretary
- Former Dir. General (ICRISAT) International Crops Research Institute for the Semi – Arid Tropics
- President of Natural Farmers Institute of the Philippines
- CEO of Bayside Transport and Logistics Corporation
Mary Ann F.E. Wynkoop
- President, Mid America American Studies Association,1999-2000
- Vice-President, Program Chair, 1998-1999
- Co-Chair, Local Arrangements Committee, American Studies Association, 1996
- Member, Organization of American Historians
What is Plantacion de Sikwate?
We are a non-stock, non-profit organization duly registered with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc.
Our mission is to do continuous Research and Development, share the best practices in production, processing, profit making and sharing, engage in Human Resource Development and develop linkages and networking.
We envision a future reality where all individuals and groups involved in the Cacao Industry, in the Philippines and the World, work together for a mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership.
How Plantacion de Sikwate Started
We are an association initiated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of Davao City last June, 2014. Our advocacy is to teach Cacao Farmers who believe and support the natural way of farming to produce chocolate that is healthy for consumers. Our core values guide us to look after the:
Welfare of the whole Cacao value chain;
Innovation in the whole Cacao industry;
Sustainability of people/environment in Cacao industry;
Ethical Practices in relations and transactions.
Be a member and receive the following perks:
1) Planting materials are given at discounted rates
2) Seminars allotted for a limited audience shall be given first to members
3) Filipino Aromatico seedlings that grow till harvest shall be prioritized to Market Security for sales.
4) Cacao beans produced with Filipino Aromatico quality are bought by PDS for use of PDS artisanal chocolate pool of chefs (local/international)
5) Should member request a one in one seminar on PROTOCOLS regarding Planting Chocolate Bar Making, member shall be given a discount and priority on schedule for an exclusive gathering.
6) if member decides to make their own business, they shall be marketed to local/international pool of buyers affiliated with PDS.
PDS Explores Ticao, Masbate
Cacao is a sustainable option for our brothers, the (Indigenous People) IP’S of the Philippines. Helping them will be a noble action to everyone of us for they are the people protecting our forest. Let us explore, preserve, and populate our cacaos in TICAO.
Several thousands of CRIOLLO Cacao Seedlings are now being prepared from different PDS Camps all over the country which will soon be transported to this amazing island of TICAO, Masbate. All Cacao stakeholders are invited during the PROJECT LAUNCHING which will be announced anytime from now. Even our PDS Chairman Cyrus Obsuna (at his Lake Buhi Resort in CamSur) personally perform the grafting of the few remaining Criollo Seedlings for Ticao Island of Masbate.
The PDS future place for the Criollo Cacao variety will be known to the world. Criollo is the world’s best cacao beans (materials) that will produce fine aromatic chocolates . This island is popularly known to the tourists because of the beautiful beaches and to the scuba divers in search for the excitements mingling with the manta rays.
Lenlie Lecaroz Farm – Marinduque
The Seed Planet Nursery Farm – Davao City
Pere Green Nursery Farm – Davao City
The Brothers of Sacred Heart Plantation –Davao City
Cabingatan Nursery Farm – Davao City
PELP Nursery Plant – Kidapawan City
RUCHIE Cacao Nursery Farm – Bukidnon
Bantayan Island Cacao Nursery and Plantation – Cebu
Tuburan Nursery and Cacao Plantation – Cebu
Chris Fadriga Nursery and Plantation – Bago City
Pola Green Nursery Farm – Albay
Gubat-St. Anthony Cooperative Nursery Farm – Sorsogon
Global Nursery Plantation – Naga City
Cacao Peak Nursery Farm – Bulacan
Plantacion de Bonbon Cacao Farm –Cebu City
Lake Buhi Nursery and Plantation – Buhi Camarines Sur
(as of July 2016. Updated listing to be released soon)