The Cordillera Chocolate Festival is poised to make its grand debut in February, creating a vibrant convergence point for cacao farmers and processors across the region. Spearheaded by the visionary Benguet Chocolate Queen, Eva Ritchelle Padua, CEO of Dulce Chocolate Inc., this two-day extravaganza aims not only to unite key players in the cacao industry but also to foster dynamic business connections.
A Platform for Unity and Business Growth
Set to unfold from February 14 to 15 at the BSU Gymnasium in La Trinidad, Benguet, the festival is more than a celebration; it's a strategic platform designed to assist farmers and processors in marketing their exceptional products. The event will showcase a diverse array of chocolate products crafted by entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Cordillera region.
Padua, with enthusiasm befitting her role as the driving force behind the festival, envisions its institutionalization as a cornerstone for the cacao industry's success. The festival's core objective is to be a catalyst for unity, innovation, and the sweet taste of success in the thriving chocolate industry.
Progress and Challenges in the Cacao Industry
Benguet alone boasts over 1,000 cacao farmers and 20 processors situated in Itogon, Sablan, Kapangan, Kabayan, Tuba, and the City of Baguio. This gathering will not only celebrate the achievements of these farmers but will also shed light on the challenges and opportunities within the cacao industry. Discussions on gathering accurate data for the Cordillera region are scheduled during the 1st quarter regional council meeting on February 13, urging various government agencies to actively participate.
Anticipation and Distinguished Guests
With an anticipated attendance of up to 350 cacao farmers and processors, alongside business owners from cafes and restaurants, the Cordillera Chocolate Festival is poised to be a grand affair. The inclusion of distinguished guests, including Philippine Cacao Industry President Consul Armi Lopez Garcia and Benguet Congressman Eric Yap, adds gravitas and underlines the festival's significance in the industry.
A Sweet Celebration with a Purpose
In essence, the Cordillera Chocolate Festival transcends the boundaries of a typical celebration. It stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit of the cacao industry, emphasizing the need for ongoing support from pertinent government agencies. As farmers, processors, entrepreneurs, and officials come together, the festival becomes a canvas for showcasing not just chocolate creations but the resilience and innovation embedded in the Cordillera cacao landscape.
Crafting a Sweeter Future
In conclusion, the Cordillera Chocolate Festival is not merely an event but a pivotal moment for the cacao industry in the region. As we look forward to the inaugural festivities, let's anticipate the impact this gathering of minds and flavors will have on the future of cacao farming and processing in the Cordillera region. It's not just about chocolate; it's about cultivating a sweeter and more prosperous future for all involved.