Our company, Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation, is part of a family-owned group of businesses that have always worked with nature.
We construct water wells, raise goats to make our artisanal cheeses, produce and sell cut flowers and cut foliage, grow potted plants, and run a nature-themed resort including the first chocolate museum in the country, all within our hometown in Davao City on the island of Mindanao, Philippines.
This is our family’s love story with nature, which is rooted in deep love and respect for the land. Our founders, Roberto & Charita, bought their first farm in 1963 in Tagakpan, Davao City located in the foothills of Mt Talomo. Here, our founder, Mama Charita cultivated the land and planted a lot of fruit trees, coconut, coffee, & bananas; and operated a small piggery. Thereafter, they expanded their operations and invested in additional farmland.
In 1977 what started as a hobby in orchid growing by Mama Charita grew to become a main business concern, and in 1988, it was incorporated to become what it is now. It has become among the biggest producers of cut flowers in the country today.
It has four main production operations: Cut flower production, Cut foliage production, Orchids & Pot plant production and Ornamental & Landscape plants production
We built Malagos Garden Resort, a 12-hectare nature-themed park that houses a bird sanctuary & a butterfly museum in 1996. We recently opened Malagos Chocolate Museum in mid-2017 and guests can now experience the Tree-To-Bar guided tour of our cacao farm and its facilities. The newest amenity is the Chocolate Spa. Our resort is now an accredited agri-tourism site.
Our venture into cacao growing started in 2003 when we leased a farm in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. The farm had existing cacao trees.
A farmer at heart, Mama Charita, rehabilitated the trees and soon after harvested the cacao pods. From the harvest, she would make tablea (callets) the traditional way by open-roasting the beans in firewood, then grinding and molding them.
Mama Charita’s love affair with cacao has begun ❤. Her advocacy was to revive the cacao sector, which had crashed in the 80’s. She also wanted to make our very own premium Philippine chocolate instead of just exporting the cacao beans. She’d always say, “We need to level up. Let’s put more value to our raw material. This way, we could employ and empower more people, especially the farmers.” And our incredible journey in chocolate started.
From 2003 – 2012, while we improved on the cacao growing & post harvest practices; built our factory; & studied chocolate making, Mama Charita had embarked on a campaign to make cacao a priority crop. She was one of those instrumental in seeking the support of ACDI/VOCA, an organization that gives technical assistance to support cacao & coconut sectors in 2010.
In August 2011, she was the key person in the establishment of CIDAMI (Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao) and ran it forward for two years. CIDAMI is a cacao value-chain organization composed of farmers and farmer cooperatives, nursery operators, traders, processors, input suppliers, and academe.
Mama Charita already received 3 awards for her work in the cacao industry: 2017 Outstanding ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur; 2017 Leaders and Achievers of Davao (LEAD) Award; and 2017–2018 Gawad Saka Award Outstanding Agricultural Entrepreneur, Department of Agriculture.
Finally, in 2012, after years of unrelenting testing, we established Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation and started making premium single-origin cocoa liquor. It was a welcome addition to our line of fine food products, & among them is our already famous Malagos Farmhouse Cheese.
We commercially launched proudly Philippine-made Malagos Chocolate in June 2013. A single-origin fine flavour chocolate that is truly tree-to-bar.
Its 1st international award in 2015 was a first for the Philippines! This and the many awards thereafter have put the spotlight on Philippine cacao!
Today, the Philippine cacao, now a priority crop, is experiencing a resurgence. It is thriving with more farmers and new chocolate makers on board. We are very happy to have led this revival.
There is now a concerted effort from both the private and local government to improve the livelihood and well-being of farmers as well as to help put Philippines on the chocolate map of the world.
Our international awards, hard work and efforts have borne fruits. We are very proud to have helped pave the way for Philippine cacao to where it is now. Mabuhay!