Christmas reflections over a cup

Published December 21, 2020, 11:49 PM

by John Tria


John Tria
John Tria

Be it a cup of locally grown and roasted coffee or hot native chocolate, thoughts of christmas will nonetheless bring us to that sense of peace. That is its guiding spirit. The light that it brings inspires us and brings us to a consciousness of community. By now, a lot of communication, learning and trade is done online in the comfort and safety of our homes. Technology has brought many of us closer. Family and relatives we barely see are a click away. Long lost friends, schoolmates now have regular communication.

Mindanao’s chocolates and coffee! 

Visit the Cacao City Cooperative online to learn more about how you can access the various new and innovative products made by local chocolate growers and confectioners. Already, chocolate candies, dragees, truffle like creations and locally made chocolate powder have been developed by its members.

Visit and shop at A project of the Davao City government in cooperation with industry, the concept store at the new Davao City Investment Promotion Center in Davao City.

With the recent declaration of the Department of Agriculture of Davao as Cacao Capital of the country, chocolate products will definitely reach new heights. The Davao region in 2019 reached 5,960.23 MT, delivering 70.21 percent of the total national cacao output. As consciousness about local chocolate grows, so will demand, and production opportunities.

Likewise, our local coffee producers are finding new markets. Arabica producers are slowly gaining ground and can find their way to many specialized buyers. It is a matter of time before they can go full swing in the online business to reach markets far from the farms. PSA Data show that consistent top producing regions are Davao, SOCKSARGEN and BARMM( This positions Mindanao as the major coffee producer in the country.

Coffee is a perennial crop (a tree) that is suited to sloped or highland areas and the major variety, robusta can be intercropped within our coconut farms. Like cacao, this bears the potential to provide supplementary income to the 3.5 million coconut farmers, which are the most numerous farmers in the country. Arabica coffee grow well in our highlands above 1,000 meters. Our volcanic soil provides good nutrition to our coffee plants.

As demand for coffee and cacao continues to grow, we can imagine how much in terms of diversified income this brings to the millions of upland farmers. Likewise, as I wrote before, the downstream industries that it can spur, such as the manufacture of confections and powdered chocolate and coffee, for instance, can add value to our produce and employ many more. (

The good news is the launch of Deliver E program launched by the Departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry. This innovative program creates a unified platform for agricultural producers, farmers and food producers to find new buyers and markets both here and abroad.

As increased international trade beckons, the potential of many of our products to meet new buyers on online platforms is accelerated. This creates more economic inclusivity for the regions, and can potentially improve livelihoods especially for the returning OFWs.

Congrats PCO Trainees

Congratulations to batch 282 of the Pollution Control Officers Training Course offered by the Environmental Training Institute, a Division of Environmental Counselors, Inc! I  am sure that that the lessons in environmental stewardship will remain in our hearts. For updates on this and similar training programs, visit

Stay Safe Everyone, and Merry Christmas!