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a. Sources cacao from agroforests; b. Produces chocolates using five ingredients, including the low GI coconut sap sugar; c. Practices fair trade with farmers; and d. supports the government for a competitive and sustainable Philippine Cacao Industry.
Coscao helps in solving the following Sustainable Development Goals: 2. Zero hunger; 3. Good health and well-being; 8. Decent work and economic growth; and 17. Partnerships for the goals.
Coscao Chocolate uses organically grown and locally sourced ingredients. It promotes sustainable agriculture by sourcing cacao from agroforests, which does not use chemical pest control in farming.
It promotes well-being and healthy lives by offering healthy chocolate options containing no preservatives, palm oil, or hydrogenated oil. Mr. Patrick Belisario, one of the founders of Coscao Chocolate, said: "Unlike other commercialized, mass-produced chocolate bars loaded with refined sugar, additives, coloring, and chemicals, our homemade, bean-to-bar chocolate has five ingredients, namely: locally-sourced cacao beans, homemade cocoa butter, organic coconut sap sugar, organic virgin coconut oil, and real vanilla pods." Coscao Chocolate is also the Philippines' first local vegan chocolate producer.
It sources its chocolates from Davao farmers and practices fair trade principles by paying a premium for organic ingredients. The company operates in Davao City and has distribution channels in Davao City and around Metro Manila. Mr. Belisario is proud to promote inclusive economic growth and realizing a win-win for our farmers, company, and market. Coscao promotes inclusive economic growth by supporting local farmers, practicing fair trade, and employing full-time workers.
The Philippine Cacao stakeholders envision a competitive and sustainable Philippine Cacao Industry by 2022. Coscao Chocolate supports this vision by participating in the global cacao value chain. Mr. Belisario, through Ecoveritas Agriculture Technical Assistance Services (the company that produces Coscao Chocolate), also provides technical training to those interested in cacao farming and manufacturing, which further brings about inclusive growth.
The founders of Coscao Chocolate offer chocolates made with local and healthy ingredients.
Mr. Patrick Belisario, one of the founders of Coscao Chocolate, said: "The local market contains cheap imported compound chocolate made from refined sugar, cacao butter —obtained from the trans-fat hydrogenated palm oil, and other food ingredients and additives." He further added: "The emerging fine chocolate sub-sector still makes chocolates with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients, which negates the presence of antioxidants in cacao."
Coscao Chocolate supports farmer cooperatives and the family farmers practicing ecological farming , fair trade, and social enterprises purchasing premium products as raw materials. The company then processes these products to higher value and healthy products to offer ethical, healthy, and environment-conscious consumers.
Chocolates are an excellent source of antioxidants. Coscao makes sure their product is considered a superfood by using locally sourced and organically grown ingredients in their products. They incorporate locally harvested flavors in the chocolates, such as pineapples, rice crisps, pili nuts, and mangoes. Coscao Chocolate is low in glycemic index and free of trans-fats, preservatives, colorings, additives, and harmful chemicals.
Coscao Chocolate’s entire value chain has a positive impact on the triple bottom line. It provides full-time employment to workers and livelihood to farmers. Advocating in agroforestry provides environmental and health benefits by promoting sustainable agriculture and improved food security and nutrition. Fewer inputs would mean a reduction in costs and a higher price for organic cocoa, which leads to higher profits for the farmers. Producing and offering consumers a healthy chocolate option help promote healthy lives and well-being. All these will lead to inclusive economic growth for a competitive and sustainable Philippine Cacao Industry.
Mr. Belisario is an experienced professional in organic, fair-trade, social entrepreneurship, and management. He also shared that the Coscoa co-founder is a meditation guru, vegan, technologically adept, and product innovator. Together, they combined their expertise to create Coscao Chocolate.
Mr. Belisario shared that setting up a chocolate manufacturing facility requires substantial capital investment due to the price of machines and equipment. He added that “The setting up of our facility is a demonstration that chocolate manufacturing facility doesn’t have to be heavy on capital investment and the facility set up is equivalent to 10% capitalization as compared (to) importing a whole line of chocolate machines and equipment. “Coscao Chocolate produces most of their chocolates by hands; the only exception of utilizing tools is during the refining process. They are proud of their approach and that the actual setup helped them realize their purpose and offer quality products to consumers. This setup also helped them save on capital investments and created employment.
Mr. Belisario shared - “Along the value chain, our double premium purchase of organic raw materials and fair trade allows our suppliers to pay for the production cost plus a decent profit margin (above local market prices) plus incentives for practicing ecological farming (10% premium) and other incentives to support their collective enterprise. (10% premium)
Indirectly, this pricing mechanism will allow them to support their cost of living and basic needs, children’s education, and other expenses as either farmer producer or worker in the plantation hired by family farms.”
He added: “At the same time, our chocolate process is very simplified combining local fabrication of some machines or equipment both in the dry and wet process section and can be operated by out-of-school youths given the proper training and guidance.”
Aside from manufacturing healthy chocolates made from organic ingredients and supporting local farmers, Coscao Chocolate also practices fair trade and uses sustainable packaging for its products. Coscao Chocolate offers healthy chocolates to consumers, supports more chocolate farmers, and provides more employment as their brand reaches broader domestic and international markets.
Patrick Belisario, Owner
Coscao Chocolate is a small batch bean-to-bar enterprise offering chocolate products made from organic ingredients. It supports the Philippines' local farmers who harvest flavors used in the chocolate. They use coconut sap sugar, which is known to have a low Glycemic Index (GI), making Coscao Chocolate the healthier choice.