The Philippine Trade Investment Center (PTIC) in Brussels headed by Commercial Counsellor Magnolia Ashley, together with The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project team led by Regional Director Maria Belenda Ambi, organized a focus group discussion (FGD) on the Philippines’ participation in CHOCOA on June 2023 in support of Philippines continuous effort in promoting Philippine Cocoa as premium grade product.

Attending the FGD were four (4) of the seven (7) previous Philippine exhibitors of CHOCOA 2020, namely: Kennemer Foods International; Inc. Baio Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (BARBCO); Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation; and MS3 Agri-Ventures Corp.

During the discussion, participants cited business leads, networking opportunities, and knowledge and expertise gained in CHOCOA 2020 edition as positive points of their participation. However, challenges in production capacity and funding were also identified. Overall, the DTI received the private sector’s recommendation for a more robust and sustained Philippine participation in CHOCOA 2023. PTIC Brussels will work closely with Rapid Growth team together with relevant offices (e.g. CITEM, EMB, ROG, etc.) to organize the Philippines’ presence in CHOCOA.

Date of Release: 18 October 2022