Coffee confab set in Davao City

October 5, 2016 10:53 am 

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 4 — The 9th Philippine Coffee Summit is set to kick-off next week, October 12 to 13 at SMX Convention Center, SMX Lanang which will be facilitated by the Philippine Coffee Board, Incorporated (PCBI) with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

This will be the third time that Mindanao will host the summit, said Lucky Siegfred Balleque, DTI-Compostela Valley regional director.

Hundreds of participants are expected to come to the summit that will feature not only lectures and presentations on the coffee industry in the country but also exhibits that will feature the coffee production in the Philippines, Balleque added.

PCBI also partnered with the Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers on Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA) of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Jorge Judan, PCBI director, said the summit aims to promote the coffee industry in the Philippines and develop strategies to increase coffee production and improve the quality of coffee products in the country.

PCBI is a private sector-led advocacy organization that aims to establish the Philippines as the prime supplier of fine Robustas and specialty Arabicas,” Judan pointed out.

Robusta and Arabica are the most common variety of coffees being planted and produced in the Philippines.

Judan added that the summit will also determine what variety or species of coffees in the country will be identified as the country’s coffee map that could pass the global standards.

“We are establishing this benchmark so that buyers can now come to the Philippines with verifiable data and beyond that, he-said-she-said good coffee labels,” he added.

Balleque said coffee production has bright prospects in Mindanao because 65 percent of coffee production in the country comes from the island-region.

The Philippines, he added, is also producing around 25,000 metric tons of coffee every year – a production Balleque said is way below the estimated demand of 70,000 to 100,000 metric tons per year.

He also called on more farmers to engage in coffee farming and production.

“As long as we do it right from seedling selection, nursery management and the practice of good agriculture, we can assure that we will have the best coffee in the country,” he added.

Philip Dizon, another member of the board of PCBI, emphasized that they are now working to develop fine quality of Robusta coffee that can compete with the products of countries like Vietnam and Brazil.

“What we are emphasizing is to harvest our coffee ripe and red and process it correctly,” Dizon said.

Developing the production of Robusta coffee in the country will also lead to the increase of the export price of coffee up to 10 percent, Dizon added. (PNA)

LAP/LCM/ALEX D. LOPEZ/LDP

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