Business Forum Brings Together Key Players in the Philippines’ Cacao Sector to Accelerate Inclusive Growth

Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines presents at MEDA Cacao Business Forum.
David Hartman, Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines, joins the RIISA Cacao Business Forum in Mindanao.

26 March 2024, Davao, Philippines – A Cacao Business Forum brought together stakeholders from across the cacao sector in the region to explore market opportunities, address challenges, and foster partnerships for more inclusive growth. By promoting the use of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive practices, the forum aimed to increase the cacao yields and incomes of farmers, cooperatives, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

The forum was organized under MEDA’s Resilience and Inclusion through Investment for Sustainable Agriculture (RIISA) project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, in partnership with the Cacao Industry Development Councils from Davao Region and Davao City. Representatives from national government agencies, cooperative and farmer groups, and SMEs joined the event to attend learning sessions, access new products and technologies, and forge partnerships.

Learning sessions, a key component of the forum, showcased the potential of environmentally sustainable agriculture practices and regenerative farming systems in the cacao sector. The forum also provided a platform for farm suppliers to exhibit farming tools, biofertilizers, microbes, and processing equipment that can significantly boost cacao yield. In a bid to enhance digital connectivity, the Digital Farmer Program and Digital Entrepreneurship Program for RIISA cacao cooperatives and SMEs were launched. Through these programs, smartphones and broadband Wi-Fi modems will be distributed to producers from MEDA’s partners PLDT-SMART and DA-ATI with the goal of increasing access to farming technologies and information, along with access to markets.

“The RIISA project is a testament of Canada’s commitment to supporting resilient agri-food systems, with a focus on cacao smallholder farmers, SMEs and cooperatives. I have no doubt that the Cacao Business Forum will serve as an effective catalyst for the future growth and prosperity of the cacao sector.”

– David Hartman, Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines

MEDA’s RIISA project is a five-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada that supports cacao farmers in the Philippines by creating more resilient and inclusive market systems. The project aims to create resilient and inclusive economic growth for more than 25,000 smallholder farmers, cooperatives, businesses, and investors.

Read more about the Cacao Business Forum in the Mindanao Times.

MEDA Cacao Business Forum in the Philippines.


  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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