The Chocolate Hills Complex in Bohol, Philippines, has opened its first Chocolate Pop-Up store, offering locally-produced chocolate treats to visitors. The store is a collaboration between the Bicao Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative, the Local Government Unit of Carmen, and Dalareich Chocolate House. By working together, they can produce high-quality cacao beans that are then turned into delicious chocolate products.
The farmers in the town of Carmen have participated in the Bohol Cacao Production and Rehabilitation Training Program funded by the PLDT – Smart Foundation through the initiative of Dalareich Polot, a Bohol Chocolate maker and entrepreneur. Part of this program is the cacao tree tagging program, which collects and records information about cacao trees in the province of Bohol, including their total number, the different varieties and clones, and their ages. This data can then be used to improve cacao cultivation practices, develop better farming methods, and enhance the quality of cacao products in the region. Furthermore, by gathering this information, farmers and researchers can make informed decisions about improving the production and processing of cacao in Bohol.
Dalareich Polot secured grant funding from Goldman Sachs in 2022, which will allow the local farmers of Carmen to sustain their livelihoods and grow their businesses. Empowering local farmers will create a more stable and sustainable local food system for the community of Carmen. The Goldman Sachs grant funding significantly boosts Dalareich Polot’s efforts to build a resilient and thriving agricultural sector in Carmen.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Dalareich Polot of Dalareich Chocolate House, Carmen Mayor Che Delos Reyes, Congresswoman Alexi Tutor, and representatives from the Bicao Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative. The presence of these officials highlights the importance of the Chocolate Pop-Up store to the local community. Visitors to the Chocolate Hills Complex can now enjoy various chocolate products from the award-winning Dalareich Chocolate House. In addition, all of the chocolate products sold in the store are made using locally-sourced cacao beans, ensuring that the products are not only delicious but also sustainable and socially responsible.
The opening of the Chocolate Pop-Up shop in the Chocolate Hills Complex has the potential to promote sustainable agriculture, create new business opportunities for small farmers, and boost the local economy. This initiative could significantly impact the neighborhood and support the local community for years. In addition, the store’s opening highlights the commitment and expertise of the farmers involved in producing high-quality, sustainable, and socially responsible chocolate products.