PH Cacao farmers start online petition for membership in International Cocoa Organization
Filipino cacao farmers have started an online petition for government to sign the membership agreement of the International Cacao Organization (ICCO) and expand the market for Philippine-grown cacao.
The Plantation De Sikwate Association, a nonstock, non-profit organization, started the petition on change.org (https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-philippines-philippine-government-to-sign-the-membership-agreement-of-international-cocoa-organization?recruiter=38101148&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default)
In its petition, the group said it is time for the Philippines to join the UN Geneva Agreement and sign up for membership in the ICCO and reap the gains from its competitive advantage in the world market.
“International marketing requires professionals with a vision that goes beyond the one developed on the domestic market and that is where our department of trade and industry and ambassadors are coming in,” the petition said. “We need both a global managerial vision and government employees with an attitude favorable to wide actions…we need business strategies with long term prosperity, long term asset growth, not short term profit.”
The ICCO is a global organization composed of cocoa producing and cocoa consuming countries. As of 2005, 80 percent of cocoa exporting countries have already signed the agreement. ICCO member countries now account for 85 percent of world cocoa production and more than 60 percent of cocoa consumption.
The ICCO is working towards sustainability in the world cocoa economy and is focusing on matters such as the use of food grade jute bags, the issue of child labor and pesticide residue levels. (Eileen A. Mencias)