Two robusta entries from Region 12 ranked eighth and tenth out of 92 entries in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition. The increase in this year’s competition entries highlights the growing interest of younger generations in coffee production and signals a shift towards producing higher-quality specialty coffees.

KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – Two of Region 12’s robusta entries to the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) 2023 were declared as the eight and tenth best robusta coffees in the country during the awarding ceremonies held on Sunday, June 4, at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2023 in Pasay City.

Rey John Basco and Robert James Gacayan, both residents of Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat, ranked eight and tenth, respectively, out of the 92 robusta entries from all over the country in this year’s PCQC.

Basco and Gacayan are sons of former PCQC placers, Cipriano Basco and Rebecca Gacayan, respectively.

The two entries, both processed using natural processing method, were among the 14 entries from Region 12.

In an interview, Flora Politud-Gabunales, the local trade chief of DTI 12, expressed her happiness that some of the region’s entries were from the offspring of the older coffee farmers.

“We are very happy to see that some of our entries came from the sons of our original coffee entrants. This shows that the younger generations are becoming more interested in coffee production and processing,” said Politud-Gabunales.

She also noted the increase in the region’s coffee entries, which is a result of DTI’s intensive campaign and interventions, and more farmers realizing the benefits of producing fine and specialty coffee.

“Our campaign for producing fine robusta coffee has resulted in more entries in this year’s competition. The shift from producing commercial coffee to fine or specialty coffee means they can sell their produce at a higher price,” added Politud-Gabunales.

This year marks the highest number of coffee entries in the competition’s six-year run.

The PCQC is an annual green coffee competition that aims to increase the awareness of Filipino farmers regarding coffee quality and encourages them to improve their competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.

Said competition was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), ACDI/VOCA, Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia (BCAA), and the Philippine Coffee Guild. Coffee is one of the priority industries in Region 12 that is being supported by DTI through the Industry Cluster Enhancement (ICE) program and the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) – a five-year project that supports the socio-economic agenda of the current administration in reducing poverty by strengthening rural enterprises, particularly in provinces with poverty incidence above forty percent. ♦

Date of release: 07 June 2023