Academy of Chocolate 2015 List of  Winners here.   

Know more about the Academy of Chocolate here.

Awarding @ Fortnum & Mason in London 23rd April 2015

Ms. Anne Marie Kristine Umali received the award on our behalf.  Ms. Umali is the Commercial Attache and Director at the Philippine Trade & Investment Centre at the Embassy of the Philippines in London.



Davao-made chocolate wins Bronze Award at the prestigious 2015 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London.

[London] – Chocolate made by a family-run company from the Philippines won at the recently held 2015 Academy of Chocolate Awards.

In ceremonies held at Fortnum & Mason in London last April 23, the Academy of Chocolate gave Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate the Bronze Award for the Best Unflavoured Drinking Chocolate. The Academy of Chocolate was created in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals to campaign for better chocolate and promote a greater awareness of the journey from bean to bar, differentiating between fine chocolate and mass-produced chocolate confectionery.

Malagos 100% Premium Unsweetened Chocolate is the product of Davao-based Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation. The company is owned and run by the Puentespina family, who are also in the business of growing ornamental plants & cut flowers, operating a cacao nursery, running a nature-themed resort in Davao, and producing artisanal cheeses under the brand Malagos Farmhouse.

“This goes to show that our base chocolate (cocoa liquor) can compete side by side with other chocolates around the world. As far as I know, this is a first for the Philippines,” said Rex Puentespina, Chocolate Maker and Sales & Marketing Director at Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp.

“This award validates the quality of beans & chocolates we have been producing the past two years,” he added.

Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. started making premium single-origin cocoa liquor in 2012, building on the training it received from the Mars Cocoa Sustainability Team on how to grow & produce high-quality cacao beans. While the PUM (Programma Uitzending Managers), an organization of senior experts based in Netherlands, provided the company the much-needed technical assistance on chocolate making. The company also owns a cacao nursery that is certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry. It grows cacao trees in Calinan, Davao City and supplies true-to-type cacao seedlings, seeds and scions all over Mindanao. Charita and Rex Puentespina (mother and son tandem) have been working closely with more than 40 small farmers in the area, using cacao beans harvested from trees growing in the foothills of Mount Talomo in Davao, a highly diverse agricultural area on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

“We grow Trinitario clones, a cross between the Criollo and Forastero varieties, specifically and predominantly the UF 18, BR 25 and PBC 123 clones. The beans we grow are considered as fine flavor beans. These beans are manually harvested then fermented on the farm to further enhance naturally the complex flavor of cocoa,” explained Mr. Puentespina.

The company also invested in solar dryers, precision-controlled roasters, ball mill grinders and tempering machines. The company still continuously invests in equipment and technology, producing other premium, single-origin chocolate products such as Malagos 65% Dark Chocolate, Malagos Roasted Cocoa Nibs, and soon Malagos 56% & 72% Dark Chocolates. These chocolates are also used for baking and cooking.

The award-winning entry, Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate was one of the first products of the company’s venture into producing high-quality, single-origin chocolates.

The award was received by Anne Marie Kristine Umali on behalf of Malagos Agri- Ventures. Ms. Umali is the Commercial Attache and Director at the Philippine Trade & Investment Centre at the Embassy of the Philippines in London.

According to The Academy of Chocolate, this year’s Awards received a record number of entries with over 500 products from different parts of the world. As a result, more judges were involved in the jury panel and the judging, which took place at Westminster Kingsway College, was extended to five days. Chaired by globally respected wine expert Charles Metcalfe, judges included chocolate experts and buyers, pastry chefs, food professionals and food journalists.