MEDA and Local Cacao Council DCCIDC Celebrate 2024 World Chocolate Day in Davao

Youth participate at chocolate competition in Davao City, Philippines.
Young people in the Philippines are critical to the future of the cacao sector.

Davao City, Philippines, July 9, 2024 — To enhance Davao’s reputation for producing premium cacao beans and to boost local consumption of its quality chocolate products, MEDA supported the Davao City Cacao Industry Development Council (DCCIDC) to host the Cacao and Chocolate: World Chocolate Day event at the Abreeza Ayala Mall in Davao City, Philippines. The celebration took place from July 5 to 7, 2024 to mark the 8th annual World Chocolate Day.

Key players in Davao City’s cacao and chocolate industry convened to showcase their products and promote the city as the ‘Chocolate Capital of the Philippines’. The event also aimed to identify the role of youth in the future of chocolate in the Philippines, integrate Davao’s cacao and chocolate into the city’s vibrant economy, and promote sustainable and regenerative cacao production and chocolate consumption through direct exchanges between producers and consumers. The event provided opportunities for participants and exhibitors – both cacao producers and chocolate makers – to connect with various cacao market actors to access new markets and improve their sustainability practices.

“For 70 years, MEDA has promoted decent work for smallholder farmers, including those in the cacao industry in the Southern Philippines,” says Natalie Macawaris, Country Director for MEDA Philippines. “MEDA’s support to DCCIDC, including through the World Chocolate Day event, seeks to strengthen its institutional capacity to adopt practices that will ensure sustainability in the cacao industry and the creation of more jobs.”

The celebration included an exhibition showcasing the unique edible and non-edible cacao and chocolate products of Davao, and a trade fair with Davao’s cacao and chocolate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Culinary enthusiasts enjoyed the Kakaw Kulinarya (Cacao Culinary) event, which included a dessert showcase by pastry chefs from Davao hotels and a hot beverage competition among Davao baristas focusing on kakaw-kape (cacao-coffee) mixology. The Kakaw Kreative event highlighted an inter-school competition for cacao-themed table centerpieces among culinary students, while Tsokolate Obra featured on-the-spot art creations using chocolate as a medium. Kakaw (Cacao) Talks offered small and intimate discussions on the role of youth in the future of chocolate, emphasizing sustainable and regenerative production and consumption practices. Chocolate lovers also enjoyed guided Chocolate Appreciation and Tasting sessions, sampling various chocolate and cacao products.

The Cacao and Chocolate: World Chocolate Day event is part of MEDA’s five-year Resilience and Inclusion through Investment for Sustainable Agrikultura (RIISA) project, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada (GAC). RIISA aims to build a stronger and more resilient cacao sector in the Philippines by providing equitable investment and support to 15 cooperatives and 14 SMEs, primarily based in the Davao region to increase the economic prosperity of smallholder farmers.

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  • 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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