By Monica Araneta Tiosejo
The Philippines just made history in Paris, France. At the Salon Du Chocolat, the largest chocolate show in the world, Auro Chocolate won Top 20 Best Cacao Beans in the World for the prestigious Cacao of Excellence Award.
The brand shared on a social media post, “We won!!! Not only did Mang Jose make it to the Top 50, [but] he also won the main award for TOP 20 best cacao beans in the world!!!”
During the award ceremony at Salon Du Chocolat in Paris, France
Jose Sugban or Mang Jose, one of Auro’s original farming partners, was previously selected among the Top 50, and the only one to represent the Philippines for the Cacao of Excellence Award.
Auro’s cacao manager Louie Cena has been working closely with Mang Jose and other members of the Paquibato Tree Developers Cooperative (PTDC) from the very beginning. Cena mentored them on fermentation protocols and on the preparation of data and samples for submission, which Auro sponsored and entered in the competition. From being selected, the final stage is where cacao beans will then be crafted into chocolate and judged.
“It’s been a long journey since we started working with Mang Jose who was trained by our resident expert Louie on quality and proper fermentation. When we found out he made it to the Top 50, we were already ecstatic so we decided to bring him to Paris to receive his award in person. But WOW! Little did we know he would make it to the Top 20 best cacao beans in the world, we have no words! Thank you to Mang Jose for his hard work, dedication, and motivation to keep getting better!”
The post ended with “What a great moment for the Philippines and Filipino farmers!”
Photos by Auro Chocolate.