DTI strengthens Luzon coffee industry
Participants at the Luzon Island Coffee Cluster Assembly on 12-13 September in Tagaytay City.

The Department of Trade and Industry gathered coffee farmers, processors, manufacturers, Regional Council Chairs, national government agencies, and members of the academe from Regions 1, 2, 3, Cordillera Administrative Region, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA for the Luzon Island Coffee Cluster Assembly on 12-13 September in Tagaytay City.

The assembly aimed to present the national and localized version roadmap of each region, establish an institutional mechanism of roadmap localization and implementation, and learn about coffee quality standards and market opportunities.

The supposed benchmarking activity at the Café Amadeo Development Cooperative and the National Coffee Research, Development, and Extension Center at the Cavite State University-Indang was cancelled due to the bad weather. Instead, Mr. Rodrigo H. Diloy, a representative of CvSU, provided a talk on the overview of the Philippine coffee varieties and methods of coffee propagation the new processes, technologies, and applications of coffee necessary to optimize the potentials of the industry. Ms. Ma. Agnes M. Madlansacay, General Manager of Café Amadeo, shared the company’s success story.

The second day activity was about discussions on the Philippine Coffee Market vs. World Market Behaviors, Consumer Demand Innovation, Coffee Science Researches, Coffee Development Programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of

Science and Technology, and the High Value Crops Development Program of the Department of Agriculture.

Coffee is among the priority industry clusters that DTI is targeting to develop in the next five years, given its high potential to accelerate the region’s economic growth. While the sector has so much to offer, development remains slow. Thus, the Philippine Coffee Roadmap was crafted to serve as guide for optimal realization of targets for 2017-2022 and was signed in May 2017.

“The Philippine coffee production is far from serving coffee consumption of the country. Currently, 90% of the demand is imported for about Php 12 billion. The demand is still increasing with expanding consumption based among younger generation and night shift workers. Likewise, coffee shops are increasing, and specialty coffee market is expanding,” said DTI CAR Director and National Coordinator of the Coffee Industry Cluster Myrna P. Pablo.

“While coffee production is almost all over the country, we are very far from sufficiency, and this is what the Coffee Roadmap is focused on aside from optimizing income for Filipino farmers and the micro, small, and medium enterprises in the industry,” added Director Pablo.

The Philippines envisions a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, and provides sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters.

Some of the proposed strategies to achieve the target are to improve quality and availability of planting material, enhance farm efficiency and investments, and improve competitiveness, market price, and coffee standards.

“We, from the government, want to help our coffee farmers and MSMEs. In return, we also need their help by letting us know what they need. Let us work together to strengthen our coffee industry, to generate employment, and to improve the livelihood of our farmers and MSMEs,” said DTI CALABARZON Assistant Regional Director Marcelina S. Alcantara.