Moulinet Chocolat: The adventure

A Food and Drink project Reading, United Kingdom

Bring to the world Philippine organic cacao, chocolate couverture, and the tropical bounty supporting the sustainable cultivation of cacao.

This Crowdfunder campaign will fund two separate but intertwined entities:(1) Moulinet Chocolat – a UK-based company that will• Contribute to establishing the identity of Philippine cacao in the world market.• Help develop a market for high quality and organic Philippine cacao beans for the niche market of bean-to-bar chocolates.• Create an online platform: a website; single dot-com and subdomains in New Zealand, Australia, and North America; e-commerce hosting, and secure certification.

(2) Fine Chocolate Cooperative – the Philippine's first non-government forum that will• Explore ways of providing cacao workers cooperative education and improve the skills of Filipino chocolatiers.• Initiate a coordinated effort to introduce Philippine fine chocolate overseas, starting in 2016-17 with UK, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.• Co-host a conference on the colonial history of cacao in the Philippines, approaching key cultural agencies in the Philippines as partners, such as Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional or Instituto Cervantes.


The cocoa value chainThe world’s producers of bulk chocolate and semi-finished cocoa products buy their beans from equatorial countries in South America, Carribean, Africa, and Southeast Asia including the Philippines. This cacao value chain consisting of international commodity trading, warehousing, and industrialised production, produces enormous but unevenly distributed profits where primary growers are at the mercy of wholesale buyers and cacao traders.

Principles of Sustainable farming and chocolate consumption• Environmental conservation - Create opportunities for farming cacao without destroying the environment for the benefit of future generations.• Social and inter-generational equity - Bypass cacao bean trading and procurement that reduce cacao prices to levels that make it difficult for primary producers to earn a living.• Community-building - Engender equity within the entire spectrum of chocolate production, from improving worker welfare through to promoting the fine chocolate industry.• Viable local economy - Help local economies by strengthening the link between cacao growers, chocolatiers, and consumers of fine chocolate.


The forest-like canopy and understory of Kablon Farm's multi-cropped organically farmed cacao estate (clockwise from top left): Figure A. Bird's nest; Figure B. Soursop (scientific name Annona muricata) trees; Figure C. Tree-like papaya plants; Figure D. Lanzones (scientific name Lansium parasiticum) trees laden with fruit; Figure E. Split cacao pod; Figure F. Coconut tree with identifying code.


  will bridge the gap separating cacao growers from fine chocolate consumers created by the conventional cacao value chain in three ways: by cutting out large warehousing operations and commodity trading; making chocolate production and profit distribution more transparent; and supporting the economy at the source, by distributing the tropical harvest that makes the sustainable cultivation of Theobroma cacao possible.

This campaign will feature the products of Kablon Farm in Figure G (above), a 65-hectare multi-crop organic estate in South Cotabato: fermented cacao beans, chocolate callets (100% chocolate), coconut sugar, and jams from plants and trees shading the cacao trees: coconut, mangosteen, guava, jackfruit, durian, passionfruit, etc. In 2015, Kablon Farm exported for the first time one (1) metric tonne of fermented beans to  Packint S.R.L., a chocolate and chocolate equipment manufacturing company in Italy. In 2016 the Crowdfunder aim is to duplicate this effort, but with organic certification and a more direct link to chocolatiers and the public. In the future, Moulinet Chocolat will work with other cacao farms and artisanal chocolatiers based in the Philippines.

The Rewards (clockwise from top left): Figure H. Fermented Trinitario cacao beans.  Figure J. Coconut sugar (available in 200g packets).  Figure K. Chilli peppers drying under the sun. Figure L. Seasonal jams and preserves in 265g bottles; Figure M. 100% Chocolate callets 30 pieces x 4g each in 120g packet. NOTE: All reward-based pledges will include a pack of chilli peppers-medium heat (50g) known in the Philippines as siling labuyo because the proceeds from its sale have always gone to Kablon Farm workers.


NEW REWARDS! All pledges will receive a set of BLANK postcards, shown above (enlarged captions for illustration only). They depict everyday life at the cacao estate and Barangay Tupi, South Cotabato, Philippines. They will be included in £50, £100, and £250 Pledges, whose fields can no longer be edited as they were the first to be taken up in the first week of launch.


Phases of Business Development1. Create a digital platform for the sale of the products of the multi-cropped cacao estate.2. The initial product range will consist of Kablon Farm products: fermented cacao, chocolate callets, coconut sugar, jams, and chilli peppers (Figures J-M above).3. The product range will later be widened to associated goods like Philippine fine chocolate and specialty coffees.


The Team - Two generations of the Eslao and the Pantua families from the Philippines, now scattered around the globe over three continents![N]  R.J. Eslao: Moulinet Chocolat Head of Chocolate & Accounts; Self-taught chocolatier (Manila, Philippines).[O]  Ernesto Pantua: Kablon Farms General Manager; Agricultural engineer; Cacao Growers Association Region 12-Education Committee Chair (South Cotabato, Philippines).[P]  Marga E. Testado: Moulinet Chocolat Head of Sugar & Jams; Advertising officer (Manila, Philippines).[Q]  Estela E. Duque: Moulinet Chocolat Founder; Architect & architectural historian; Chocolate taster; Social entrepreneur (Berkshire, UK).[R]  Alan E. Benton: Moulinet Chocolat IT & Communications adviser; MC3 Promotions Event Management, (Wellington, New Zealand/Aotearoa).