Day 2 in South Cotabato of our Cacao Fermentation Protocols Development project: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The UGLY. When we invited the fine cocoa lovers of the world to join in our adventure, we thought it would be useful to show our Participants the amount of effort it required to help a farmer, an agricultural estate, maybe a community move towards more sustainable agricultural practices for the production fine cocoa. What we did not expect was to be confronted on the first day of the farm visit, with the post-WW2 impact of illegal logging in Mindanao since the nationalist effort to integrate the food basket of the country into feeding the nation. But this was exactly what happened and we do not shy from explaining this context of our work.
The BAD. It is not an an exaggeration to say we inadvertently provided in one day's excursion, not only an introduction to the political economy of feeding a nation. We also saw the amount of effort and sacrifice it has taken, and will continue to take, to fix the problems created by the integration of Mindanao to the Philippine nation. And for this we are grateful to all the people we encountered at the 2 cocoa farms we visited, as we looked not only for opportunities for moving towards fine cocoa production, but also for the amount of goodwill among the professionals in our little group of adventurers who traversed Lake Sebu, Surralah, Koronadal, and Tupi: farmers, agronomists, doctors, a nurse, a geologist-and-agriculture expert, an economist, supply chain specialists, food factory owners, restauranteurs, and most importantly tableya and chocolate makers and profess chocolate tasters! This is is the wider context of cacao production in the Philippines, and the reality to be faced by the effort of making inroads into fine cocoa production.
The GOOD. Finally we come to the amazing discoveries we had in Day 2: meeting the women behind the Collective Mark of the indigenous weavers who are inspiring our effort to obtain Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) for local cacao, and everyone who fed us today! Zoi asked when we were actually going to see cacao pods, because we made at least 5 food stops along the way!
Just an obligatory heli shot with @greenheliph 🤪🚁 they flew us around Boracay and it was so neat to see the island from above. QUESTION TIME! Which of these photos is your favorite? Do you prefer the lifestyle shot, landscape shot or detail shot? 🐚