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Sarangani coffee farmers attend coffee expo 2022 in Davao City

DAVAO CITY -- Coffee farmers from Sarangani attended the face-to-face Philippine Coffee Expo (PCE) 2022 on September 14-15, at SMX Convention Center at SM Lanang Premier in Davao City, through the Sarangani Coffee Industry Development Council and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Safe Water project.

The coffee event, the largest gathering of the coffee industry players and stakeholders in the country, was anchored on the theme “Climate Change and Coffee.”

This year’s PCE aimed at bringing together the entire coffee industry in the Philippines to tackle key challenges and opportunities through technical discussions, presentations of new technologies to increase productivity and quality, and build networks within the coffee sector.

“This event is important to us farmers because we learn new trends and farming technology that we can apply in our coffee farms. We can also get the opportunity to network with other farmers and industry players,” said Sarangani Coffee Industry Development Council chairperson and Inag Coffee owner Renny Boy Takyawan.

According to Terrence J. Ryan, chief of party of the Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE), there were 60 booths and 27 coffee carts at the expo and also 1,000 delegates comprising those involved in the coffee supply chain that joined the plenary.

“This event was originally scheduled for April of 2020 so we are off-cycle. Normally we would be doing this in collaboration with PCQC (Philippine Coffee Quality Competition) but we decided to pursue it because we were waiting for two and half years and we were able to gather, mass gathering is allowed now so we go ahead with it,” Ryan said.

He added that the expo was a great opportunity to promote the coffee sector and bring the people together, especially now that coffee is experiencing a strong period of growth and popularity in the Philippines and the industry’s specialty sector is expanding in capacity and competitiveness in recent years.

The expo featured some local and international speakers who discussed coffee, climate change, coffee quality, marketing, the role of the Q (quality) standard in the Philippine Specialty Coffee sector, among others. 

It also had a Throwdown Competitions on latte art, brewdown, and cup tasters, including breakout sessions dubbed Kape’t Kwentuhan that discussed other coffee-related topics.

Meanwhile, the Sarangani Coffee Council has encouraged local farmers to plant more coffee trees because of its high demand in both local and international markets, citing the massive support for coffee from both local and foreign agencies.  

The USAID Safe Water project supports small coffee farmers in the country by providing technical assistance and training programs; improve capacity to produce and market high quality coffee; improve access to finance, markets and farm inputs, among others.

Acknowledging some issues in the country’s coffee industry, the council also expressed optimism in the future of the Philippine coffee industry, especially in the thriving local coffee business in Soccsksargen.

Despite its recent progress, the Philippine coffee industry remains in need of support to become more competitive and sustainable in terms of profit for coffee farmers throughout the country.

PhilCAFE aims to boost the production of conventional and specialty coffee and coffee exports from the Philippines.  PhilCAFE is a project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by ACDI/VOCA.

Coffee is one of the industries in the country being supported by the ACDI/VOCA in addition to special grants provided to coffee farmers and stakeholders to help boost the growth of coffee industry.

“We are thankful for the technical assistance of our government agencies and NGOs for the local coffee industry. Their support means a lot especially to the farmers,” Takyawan said.

Aside from the Philippine Coffee Guild, the PCE 2022 was also co-organized by the Davao Region Coffee Council with support from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Department of Trade and Industry, and in collaboration with PhilCAFE Project. (Genory Vanz Alfasain/Sarangani Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.)

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Catherine Apelacio

Information Officer III

Region 12

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