Where are we in the Cacao International Stage

The Philippines is still not a member of the International Cocoa Organization. The petition to the Philippine government is still under consideration. However, Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc. is optimistic that the petition to be awarded the international seal before 2020 will be granted. Buenaventurada Farms is one with the nation to help the association as well as the entire country to receive this approval for reconsideration from the President of the Philippines. It is high time to empower the cacao farmers and allow them to be heard.

The petition is as follows:

Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc., A non-stock, non-profit organization envisioning 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”.

We are part of the Philippine cacao industry, composed of local cacao farmers, micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), local and international traders, concerned citizens, and civic leaders. We are blessed that the Philippines has so much potential in producing cacao. It is also home of the pure Mesoamerican Criollo, the highest quality cacao bean in the world.

We are in agreement with the ICCO Preamble and Objectives Article 1 and believe it is time for us to join the UN Geneva Agreement and be competitive advantage in world market. The international marketing requires professionals with a vision that goes beyond the one developed on the domestic market and that is where our Dept. of Trade and Industry and Ambassadors are coming in.

We need both a global managerial vision and government employees with an attitude favorable to wide actions. In general, like any entrepreneurs and organizations, we need business strategies with long term prosperity, long term asset growth, not short term profit. Therefore, it is not only best conceived in terms of its impact on “the bottom line” instead it can be identified in more operational terms as setting the direction of a business and achieving a concentration and consistency of group effort between our government and its people.

The Philippines government pushes for the increase of cacao production and concluding that an improvement in cacao production would serve to expand the raw cacao industry as a whole. Now, our main concerns and considerations are as follows, the creation of customers, the identification of appropriate market niches where no competition exists, the identification of customer needs and how best they can be satisfied, the application of technology and its future development or substitution, the understanding of competitors and how direct competition may be avoided, the motivation of people to put their efforts and enthusiasm behind the strategic aims of the business.

The global marketing requires obtaining a synergistically effect, through the use of intelligent and coordinated specific factors. The international business environment includes all the forces and actors, all factors, agents from the country of origin and on the foreign markets, other than marketing, which affects its ability to achieve its objective of international marketing. It has the following features: Complexity, diversity, interdependence, and dynamism which could not be achieved by our local farmers alone. As we all know, the international environment and or global market are in constant change both as a whole and a ratio between its components.

We need our Philippine government agencies, DFA, DTIs and or Ambassadors or any representative to participate in UN Cacao Summit to act in our behalf as international cacao trader and help develop the global marketing processes and programs that requires special knowledge and information. It is essential to identify, locate and access international information sources; the rules of international comparability must also be learned and it is critical the powerful, careful and competent selection of the information to be used by local farmers.

“Let us all bind together to help our local farmers and entrepreneurs to go global”.  By joining the ICCO is showing the world market that we could deliver the world demand of cacao according to the international standard. Now is the right time for importing countries to learn and find the Philippine as exporting country in world cacao industry.”

Thank you very much and congratulation in helping move forwards the Philippine cacao industry.



The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) is a global organization, composed of both cocoa producing and cocoa consuming countries with a membership. Located in London, ICCO was established in 1973 to put into effect the first International Cocoa Agreement which was negotiated in Geneva at a United Nations International Cocoa Conference.

There have since been seven Agreements. The Seventh International Cocoa Agreement was negotiated in Geneva in 2010 and came into force provisionally on 1 October 2012. On 2 November 2005, the total percentage of exporting countries which had acceded to the Agreement surpassed 80%. Thus, the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001 entered into force definitively for the first time in the 30-year history of the International Cocoa Agreements.

ICCO Member countries represent almost 85% of world cocoa production and more than 60% of world cocoa consumption. All Members are represented in the International Cocoa Council, the highest governing body of the ICCO. The two most important breakthroughs of the present International Cocoa Agreement were the establishment of an explicit mandate on a Sustainable World Cocoa Economy and the founding of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy.

The Consultative Board consists of fourteen international experts in the cocoa sector, all from the private sector (seven from cocoa producing Member countries and seven from cocoa consuming Member countries). However, the Board, whose mandate is as extensive as that of the International Cocoa Council and comprises all aspects of the world cocoa economy, only functions in an advisory capacity, as all final decisions are taken by the International Cocoa Council.

The Consultative Board was established in recognition of the importance of the private sector in the world cocoa economy and of the increasingly important role that trade and industry have been playing in ICCO. Sustainable World Cocoa Economy To complement its mandate of working towards a sustainable world cocoa economy, ICCO also functions as a centre to address matters of importance in the world cocoa economy in conjunction with governments and the private sector. These include the use of food grade jute bags, the presence of Ochratoxin A in cocoa, issues involving the worst cases of the use of child labor and maximum residue levels for pesticides.


(a) Recognizing the contribution of the cocoa sector to poverty alleviation and the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

(b) Recognizing the importance of cocoa and the cocoa trade for the economies of developing countries, as a source of income for their populations, and recognizing the key contribution of the cocoa trade to their export earnings and to the formulation of social and economic development programmes;

(c) Recognizing the importance of the cocoa sector to the livelihoods of millions of people, particularly in developing countries where small-scale farmers rely on cocoa production as a direct source of income;

(d) Recognizing that close international cooperation on cocoa matters and continuing dialogue between all stakeholders in the cocoa value chain may contribute to the sustainable development of the world cocoa economy;

(e) Recognizing the importance of strategic partnerships between exporting and importing Members to ensure the achievement of a sustainable cocoa economy;

(f) Recognizing the need to ensure the transparency of the international cocoa market, for the benefit of both producers and consumers;

(g) Recognizing the contribution of the previous International Cocoa Agreements of 1972, 1975, 1980, 1986, 1993, and 2001 to the development of the world cocoa economy;

With a view to strengthening the global cocoa sector, supporting its sustainable development and increasing the benefits to all stakeholders, the objectives of the Seventh International Cocoa Agreement are:

(a) To promote international cooperation in the world cocoa economy;

(b) To provide an appropriate framework for discussion on all cocoa matters among governments, and with the private sector;

(c) To contribute to the strengthening of the national cocoa economies of Member countries, through the preparation, development and evaluation of appropriate projects to be submitted to the relevant institutions for financing and implementation and seeking finance for projects that benefit Members and the world cocoa economy;

(d) To strive towards obtaining fair prices leading to equitable economic returns to both producers and consumers in the cocoa value chain, and to contribute to a balanced development of the world cocoa economy in the interest of all Members;

(e) To promote a sustainable cocoa economy in economic, social and environmental terms;

(f) To encourage research and the implementation of its findings through the promotion of training and information programmes leading to the transfer to Members of technologies suitable for cocoa;

(g) To promote transparency in the world cocoa economy, and in particular in the cocoa trade, through the collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant statistics and the undertaking of appropriate studies, as well as to promote the elimination of trade barriers;

(h) To promote and to encourage consumption of chocolate and cocoa-based products in order to increase demand for cocoa, inter alia through the promotion of the positive attributes of cocoa, including health benefits, in close cooperation with the private sector;

(i) To encourage Members to promote cocoa quality and to develop appropriate food safety procedures in the cocoa sector;

(j) To encourage Members to develop and implement strategies to enhance the capacity of local communities and small-scale farmers to benefit from cocoa production and thereby contribute to poverty alleviation;

(k) To facilitate the availability of information on financial tools and services that can assist cocoa producers, including access to credit and approaches to managing risk.

The procedures for becoming an ICCO member of the International Cocoa Organization are provided in Articles 52 to 57 of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.