Auro Chocolate Founder Mark Ocampo Wins Big At The International Chocolate Awards 2020
Auro Chocolate, co-founded by Gen.T honouree Mark Ocampo, recently won international acclaim for its bean-to-bar chocolates. Ocampo won five gold awards at the International Chocolate Awards, held in Taiwan. The competition is one of the most prestigious in the chocolate industry and welcomes entries from all over the world.
"To our surprise, not only did we win five gold awards, we [also] won best in competition and overall winner," Ocampo says. "This award is only given to one brand per category, which we won for our milk chocolate." Other awards include golds for "Plain/Origin Milk Chocolate Bars", "Chocolate Maker", "Growing Country", and "Direct Traded (Chocolate)".
"There's still so much more we can do to continuously improve and evolve—the learning never stops. With each competition, we’re able to see the innovations of different brands from around the world. That truly inspires us to keep pushing the limits. We're on the right track [knowing] that we’re able to compete on the world stage with older brands we look up to, despite being only three years old," Ocampo says.
In September 2020, Auro also won seven recognitions at the Great Taste Awards in the UK. "It’s really interesting to see the difference in taste depending on where judging takes place," says Ocampo. "I would say with each competition, you must know your audience and put your best foot forward. Not everything will work in certain markets so you have to be strategic."
"The Philippines has had cacao for over 300 years. Not to mention, we are the first country in Asia to grow cacao. We also have a rich tradition of consuming chocolate. Yet, only within the past ten years have we seen quality chocolate brands come up," Ocampo says.
The attention that comes with awards has given the social enterprise a boost by raising its profile on the global stage and helping the company create more self-sustaining solutions for its farming partners in the Philippines. Next up is a new location in Tokyo, and a retail concept in Bahrain. "It's about time we’re able to share this with the rest of the world," says Ocampo.
See more honourees from the Food & Beverage category of the Gen.T List 2020