DABAWENYO CHOCO. Rex Victor Puentispina, Malagos Agri Venture Corporation sales and marketing director, shows the some of the internationally-recognized chocolate proucts  they sell in their store at SM City Davao. (Photo by Digna Banzon)

DAVAO CITY -- The multi-awarded homegrown Malagos chocolate is again vying for the Asia Pacific Bean-to-Bar Chocolatier Competition this year.

Rex Victor Puentespina, sales and marketing director of Malagos Agri Venture Corp., said Thursday the company is set to send their entries to Taiwan this weekend in time for the judging from August 31 to September 5.

Puentespina said the company seeks to win the Asia Pacific competition to qualify in the world finals in Italy.

"It is important for us to join in these competitions each year because this is also where we get feedback on our products, improve on it, and create new ones," he said.

The Malagos chocolate firm has already won 32 international awards. Recently, the company's line of chocolate products won a competition in Thailand.

Launched seven years ago, the local chocolate maker continues to innovate and has even embarked on a campaign to educate consumers on the benefits that can be derived from their products, Puentespina said.

Unlike big confectionery companies that use compound chocolate, he said, Malagos only uses "Grade A" chocolate beans that retain 50 percent to 54 percent plant fat of pure cocoa, making it a premium product.

Big companies extract the cocoa butter from the beans because this is also used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and cosmetics products, he said.

Puentespina also said the locally-made chocolate is comparable to the world's best, "mainly because we produce our own raw materials right in our backyard; our production monthly is about eight tons."

He said the company's products are distributed in selected foreign markets, such as the United States, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

"Foreign consumers are really meticulous and we are learning from it. We need to declare where it is coming from, the origin and the variety of the beans," he said. (PNA)