Co-founder and managing director, Auro Chocolate
One of the biggest players in the Philippine cacao industry gives farmers a sweet deal
At Auro Chocolate, the company Mark Ocampo founded with Kelly Go in 2015, farmers are treated as business partners. They are taught financial literacy and basic business administration and are given training on how to make their own chocolate products, enabling them to generate revenue throughout the year. The cacao farmers are now making as much as P200,000 per hectare, with better quality cacao fetching higher prices. The company works with around 2,000 farmer families from Davao and South Cotabato, provinces which are becoming known as “single origin” names in the chocolate world.
Ocampo, who hails from Pampanga, studied robotics and technical art in Chicago and worked in the advertising industry before deciding to learn chocolate-making in Germany in 2010. The founders wanted to turn the Philippines from a cacao-exporting country to a globally competitive chocolate-producing one. Auro launched its first chocolate bar in 2017 and has since won dozens of international awards, the most recent being the Shining Bright award from the Academy of Chocolate, which is given to only four producers that have demonstrated growth in fine chocolate. In 2018 Auro opened its first international branch in Tokyo, and in December 2021 opened its first Philippine café concept at IKEA Pasay City.
Gold Award for Chocolate Maker at International Chocolate Awards
Did You Know?
Mark Ocampo helped to send Mang Jose, a cacao farmer from Paquibato, Davao, to Paris to receive an award for his cacao beans at the 2019 Salon de Chocolat.