Brgy. Bila, Bauko, Mountain Province
It all started over a pot of coffee along with a discussion about the history and simple community life in Bila, Bauko Mountain Province where a group of young women came together to chat and relax before retiring for the night. Shifting from the usual topics, the group related their observations on the situation of the local coffee industry where the idea of venturing into the industry came up.
Although armed only with limited knowledge, three among the group were invited by DTI to participate in the Coffee 101 training way back in 2011 in Baguio City. From this, they came up with a Back Home Plan to consolidate and trade coffee beans.
However, realizing the potential of the coffee industry in Mountain Province, the opportunity laid before them goes beyond consolidating and trading green beans. Along with this, they then named their group as the “Bila Rural Development Club” or simply BiRD Club consistent with the aim to soar and fly high with their dreams. With that, they decided to try a hand in coffee processing.
Reality may have dictated the absence of a processing center and needed equipment, but the group sought the roasting services of an establishment in the nearby municipality of Sagada.
Faced with the high cost of the process, the group then sought assistance from government agencies most especially the Department of Trade and Industry for the procurement of needed facilities through the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program. After partnering with the Dang-dang-ay Di Ibila Multi-Purpose Cooperative where most of the members of BiRD club are also part, the group was able to benefit from the said program.
With the launching of their SSF in 2014, it invited better opportunities for the group. Today, it is providing roasting services for Individuals, SMEs and organizations in the nearby municipality of Tadian and in the locality of Bauko. Aside from that, BiRD Club, prides itself with its premium coffee, a product of functional facilities, continuous trainings undergone and learnings gained thus raising the quality improvement of coffee in the Province.
Further, the club also provides regular supplies to local markets in Maountain Province and in establishments outside the province such as the Health 100 and Porta Vaga in Baguio City.
Aside from their President being invited as resource person during trainings and seminars on Coffee production, their processing facility in itself serves as an educational hub or on-site learning facility. This is where technical information is shared to farmers availing of its roasting services, and where individuals, students and other organizations through organized educational tours can have a first-hand experience in observing the whole process in the coffee production. The latest of which to visit the facility is a group coming all the way from the UNISG-University of Gastronomic Sciences from Italy.
Moreover, with all the experience in coffee production and processing, BiRD Club members replicated these in other product focus such as, insumix, wine and peanut as it continuously levels up worthy of its name especially that it has already.