SOCCSKSARGEN – “Quality improvement is the key in achieving Market Success for the Coffee Industry in Region 12.”, says Ibrahim K. Guiamadel, Regional Director of DTI 12.

Last April 14, 2018, SOCCSKSARGEN’s representatives (reps) successfully passed the Robusta Q Grading Course and Examination by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) thru the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA).  Mr. Joven Quiriones (DTI-Sultan Kudarat), Ms. Leslie Aranilla (DTI-South Cotabato) and Ms. Ava Odal (TUCOGAI) are now part of CQI’s elite team of Robusta Q Graders who speak the same language of coffee quality.

The Q Grading Program is the way to objectively examine coffees and score them based on their many attributes and overall quality. The three being a part of the above-mentioned team means a lot to the coffee industry in the region because by being part of the Q System, the coffee quality will be communicated all the way through the value chain, from the farmers to the exporters. This will help improve the quality of the coffee beans produced by the producers/processors for them to reach the market’s standard for quality.

The Robusta Q Grading certification of the three is considered a significant feat in order to position Region 12 not just as the country’s biggest producer of green coffee beans but eventually as leading provider of fine Robusta beans for specialty coffee processors and shops all over the country.

Left: Mr. Joven S. Quiriones  of DTI Sultan Kudarat and  Right: Ms. Leslie Aranilla of DTI South Cotabato

Joven S. Quiriones is a Trade Industry Development Specialist who also acts as Provincial Information Officer in the DTI Sultan Kudarat Field Office. Leslie T. Aranilla is a Senior Trade Industry Development Specialist under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in DTI South Cotabato. Both were provincial focal persons for the Coffee Industry under the Industry Cluster Program of DTI-12. 

Ms. Ava Odal of the Tupi Coffee Growers Association

On the other hand, Ms. Ava Odal is the Marketing Manager of the Tupi Coffee Growers Association Incorporated (TUCOGAI) whose office is located in Tupi, South Cotabato. TUCOGAI is a recipient of various interventions and assistance from different national government agencies. The association, started as a client of CARP in DTI South Cotabato, benefited from a five-year strategic plan created by the DTI CARP team for the members to improve the management of the association’s coffee business. Later on, the association was able to get much assistance from the Department of Agriculture, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato and other government entities.   TUCOGAI is also a recipient of various DTI initiatives such as Product Packaging and Labeling, Branding and Greening the Gender Responsive Value Chain Analysis (GGRVCA) of the GREAT Women Project 2 and is also a recipient of DTI’s Shared Service Facility program.

Meanwhile, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is a non-profit organization working internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of people who produce it. The ACDI/VOCA is an international development nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., United States that fosters broad-based economic growth, raises living standards and creates vibrant communities.

To date, Region 12 has four (4) certified Coffee Q Graders, to include Francis Fredeluces of Greentropics as Arabica Q-Grader.♦

Visit Department of Agriculture site

Date of release: 23 April 2018