By Raphaela Ann Manalo, UPLB Intern
San Isidro, Davao del Norte, is known for cacao production with around 4,000 hectares of cacao. This significantly contributes to the supply of cacao nationwide. Cacao is the main source of livelihood in San Isidro and this has been passed down to many generations.
Chocolate de San Isidro or CSI exports up to 300 metric tons of cacao beans to European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium per year (Aguiba, 2013). This community-based social enterprise partially owned by farmer cooperatives won the Silver Award for Cocoa of Excellence 2021 which recognizes the achievement of all participants recognizing their achievements with cocoa bean samples from around the world and celebrating the Best 50. CSI is a member of the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao which aims to expand the area from 4,000 hectares to 10,000 to even 12,000. Most of the farmers are smallholders with one to two-hectare lands. Exporting cacao led to opportunities for Filipino farmers as they gained greater income.
Chocolate de San Isidro also produces CSI Sikwate! Tablea is a bar of native chocolate made of 100% organic cacao beans. It is brought to the market through the marketing initiative of GlowCorp. CSI Sikwate! Tablea is not available at 10 Kultura outlets inside SM, and 20 outlets of All Day Supermarkets.
One of GlowCorp’s corporate values is to balance social commitment and profit. With this, GlowCorp supports the disadvantaged groups in society including small cacao farmers. It is GlowCorp’s goal to empower Filipino farmers and social entrepreneurs by continuously supporting them in their marketing needs.