Attending Public Consultation: PNS for Cacao Grinder…

It was the third session I guess. The first two were technical working group (TWG) meetings.  I got an invite for the second meeting from a concerned TWG member.  In this third and maybe the last, the invitation came from both parties.

In the last session, grinder for cacao and coffee were both in the same module. TWG members decided to separate them after realizing the two works differently. Example. Coffee grinder designs cannot achieve the fineness set by cacao processors.

I didn’t get it at first. Why only grinder, not the whole cacao process. Making cacao products is not grinding alone. It has to be fermented, roasted, winnowed, ground, refined, sometimes conched and then molded. All steps are essential, so none should be left behind.

My second question. Why there was a need for deliberation when in fact we can just replicate foreign technologies. Theirs are far more advance and tested. We can either replicate or buy for a higher cost and forget the building and testing part.

Discussion began and the first question I had in mind was the main topic. Wow! Most of the invited guests were cacao processors and it seemed we were speaking of the same language. I was happy about it.

Panel main defense for the situation. The bureau’s parent agency which is Department of Agriculture requested cacao grinder standard. All comments and suggestions were noted and will be tackled in the near future. How near is uncertain. Maybe within the term of President DU30 or the next.

Toward the end, I came to realize that standards for all equipment could not be made in one fell swoop. It was the third session for the grinder alone. What if the others were already included.

Big things should be divided to several small chunks. Then do one chunk at a time. Slowly but surely.

Cocoa Grinder was the first chunk and I also think it was the most important. I have been handling cacao for many years now and the problem I have been trying to solve is finding a suitable grinder locally. If I have the budget in hand, then I would have solved it a long time ago.

I didn’t get answer to my second question.


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