January 18, 2019
MAKATI CITY – The beans grown by Davao City’s Puentespina Farms, manufacturer of the world-renowned Malagos Chocolates, have been recognized as “Heirloom Cacao” by the US-based organization Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) Fund.
Charita Puentespina, founder of Puentespina Farms, said the farm was the 16th recipient of the international distinction. Other heirloom farmers were from Bolivia, Ecuador, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Madagascar.
“We are elated to be part of this very small group of farmers who have been given this designation as Heirloom Cacao,” she said.
Puentespina’s beans underwent an extensive evaluation by HCP’s tasting panel before its heirloom status was announced in San Francisco on January 12, 2019. According to HCP, the chocolate was praised for its flavor, low acidity and “touch of fruits.”
HCP’s mission is to “identify and preserve fine flavor cacao varieties for the conservation of biological diversity and the empowerment of farming communities.” It is an initiative of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association founded in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Services.
Primarily grown by small farms in the lowland tropical regions, cacaos are good for the ecosystem because they are grown in the shade along with other fruit trees like bananas, coconuts, and forest trees. Helping preserve heirloom cacao also helps the livelihood of the farmers who grow them.
“We want our products to be worthy of the heirloom designation that has been given to us,” said Puentespina.
Meanwhile, the Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation has issued a limited edition bar of Malagos Heirloom Chocolate 72% Dark Chocolate to celebrate the certification.