After two long weeks of vacation, I got my hands on cacao again. It was not a break I opted to. It was the lack of cacao supply that forced me into hiatus.
We are always placing our order whenever our cacao stock goes down to half. That was an ample margin already. The processing and delivery was taking about one to three weeks. We still had about 50 to 100 kilograms after getting the new beans.
However, this time was different. The newly delivered beans was ordered about two months ago. It’s not weeks of waiting, but months. We declined several customers already and there are still a handful in waiting list.
I got started immediately by bean sorting late at night. Hoping tomorrow, I can start a new batch. I wish all things went smooth as silk.
This situation happened twice before. Then, we are ordering in advance as precaution. Maybe our measure was not enough. We need to find additional supplier or get twice the cacao in advance.
There is a current cacao shortage. Not only local but world wide. Micro to big companies are affected.
Cacao is included in Philippine National Budget. There is a massive planting campaign to fill in the supply gap. Government agencies are buying grafted seedlings from few plantations and distributing to farmers willing to engage.
As of now, the campaign has greatly affected the local supply chain. Farmers, instead of fermenting and drying their beans are selling it wet as planting material, which cost about 500 pesos per kilograms. It is very attractive compare to 35 pesos/kilogram wet beans for fermentation and drying. Others are growing the seeds on their own and producing grafted seedling. Average seedling price is 25 pesos.
If the campaign continues, I see this problem only as temporary. Cacao tree volume will grow and cacao beans will flood the market.