Bigger market opportunities await the coffee industry of Region 1 as the locally produced Robusta coffee from the province of Ilocos Sur dominated the top five spots in the 2021 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC). The entries for the Robusta Category submitted by coffee farmers from the province were hailed as best coffee during the PCQC virtual awarding ceremony held on 26 May 2021.

The Robusta coffee entry of Mr. Mabini C. Ubuan from the municipality of  Sigay bagged the 1st place award. Coffee farmers who landed the other top spots were: Ms. Marielle Gannad, Gregorio Del Pilar- 2nd place; Ms. Erlinda Dao-ayan, Gregorio Del Pilar- 3rd place; Mr. Rodolfo Aciong, Quirino- 4th place; and Ms. Juana Bitongan, 5th place.

Now on its 4th year, the event, which was co-organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia, Inc. (BACAA), and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), aims to unite, empower, and nurture the Philippine coffee community through friendly competitions.

National Industry Cluster for Coffee Coordinator and DTI-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Director Myrna P. Pablo called for the institutionalization of the PCQC. “Our coffee industry has gone a long way. More stakeholders are joining. Let us support the inclusive growth of the Philippine coffee industry,” she added.

2021 PCQC Champions from Region 1

The new normal situation brought about by the pandemic COVID19 had brought challenges in the industry. However, with the strong support and united efforts from the public and private stakeholders, Ms. Cherry Cruz, Chairperson of PCQC, believes that no pandemic could stop the celebration of the growing and improving Philippine Coffee Industry.

The competition was opened to the coffee of Philippine origin, submitted by farmers and entities engaged in coffee farming nationwide. The entries were judged from grading, roasting, and cupping. The competition was categorized into different types of coffee; Robusta, Arabica, Liberica, and Excelsa, and the mixed category. A total of 103 entries nationwide were assessed for the competition, 13 of which came from Region 1, particularly in Ilocos Sur.  

Primarily aiming to strengthen the coffee industry in the country, the competition paves way for Philippine Specialty Coffee to be recognized in the global coffee industry by performing evaluations aligned with globally accepted grading and profiling protocols and standards of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). Moreover, to make the locally produced coffee known in the global market thereby opening more marketing and better pricing opportunities to Philippine coffee farmers.

In Region 1, coffee is one of the priority industries being developed by DTI. It grows in the upland municipalities of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union.  Fifty-four percent (54%) of coffee produced is Robusta while 39% is Arabica.  Excelsa and Liberica varieties account for about 6% and 1% respectively of production in the region. The crop was basically grown by the residents for home consumption.  However, through the years, areas planted for coffee significantly increased due to the distribution of coffee seedlings by various government agencies and the appreciation of its market potential by coffee farmers and stakeholders.♦

Date of Release: 9 July 2021