Phl coffee industry leaders see a flourishing specialty coffee market

By Digna D. Banzon

DAVAO CITY, Oct 29 (PNA) — Leaders of the coffee industry are campaigning for farmers to produce more beans for the flourishing specialty coffee business.

Philippine Coffee Board, Inc. (PCBI) president Pacita Juan said the specialty beans are sought-after by coffee shops here.

“That is why our advocacy for “Pick Red” continuous, she emphasized.

She said feeding the trees with the right nutrients and applying good agricultural practices would increase production and produce quality beans.

According to Juan, good coffee comes with the right beans and that is only when the red fruit is picked.

“Farmers are discouraged to harvest the fruits by bunch because even the green fruits are taken,” she said.

Juan stressed that when red beans are mixed green beans would not produce the right aroma and taste.

Meanwhile, Juan said there are initiatives to improve production such as the planting of one million coffee trees by July 2016 to be carried out under the Eco Tree Program. Greening Mt. Apo with coffee is another endeavor that is now ongoing here spearheaded by businessman Sonny Dizon.

Juan admitted that the demand of the country for 100,000 tons of coffee beans has not been met with our production of only 20,000 tons annually. The balance of the country’s requirement is imported from Vietnam and Indonesia.

The need to increase the volume is a must, she said, adding that 90 percent of the total produce is used for the production of instant coffee and only 10 percent for specialty coffee.

“But we see a flourishing specialty coffee market especially with the increasing demand of ground coffee,” she said.

Juna noted a trend that consumers are looking at 3rd wave coffee shops and these are the establishments that need the right beans for specialty coffee.

On the other hand, Juan said the Philippine coffee is at par with those produced by other countries.

We have coffee farms in Cavite, Bukidnon, Benguet, Iloilo, Davao, Cordillera, Batangas and Sagada and we are looking for other areas to propagate more coffee plants.

Also, Juan said they see specialty coffee as an opportunity in Asia as countries like Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan are looking for specialty coffee beans. (PNA)