For good agricultural practices, the Philippines Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI) has cited Filipino small farmers for slowly and intricately learning the process of producing specialty coffee.
PCBI president and co-chair Pacita Juan also attributed this to the continuing awareness of producing quality coffee where farmers grow his coffee and taste his produce.
“And it is only when you taste your own coffee that you will know how good is your coffee produce,” she said.
Following the right steps of production, she said the farmers now label their products by indicating its moisture level.
“Nagkaroon na sila ng (They have the) information on what is being asked of the specialty coffee market,” she said. Moisture level of coffee must be maintained between 11 to 12, but ordinary farmers could not afford to buy a P20,000 moisture meter.
This is where coffee farmers are asking the support of government to help them acquire postharvest facility.
Juan said the IPs, most especially, need help to improve their production and access the market.
She recalled that in 2016, there were 80 entries of the Kape Pilipino and the two winners from Bukidnon, the Arabica and Robusta scored in the 80s.
The winning entries were sent to Seattle, Washington to see how coffee is “cupped” and judged by the international buying community.
Juan said the American roasters and other buyers during that exposition were looking for them as they were surprised and amazed of the aroma and the taste of the Philippine coffee.
The farmers, Juan said were a hit among those who joined the competition and they were called by coffee roasters to buy the coffee.
“That is why our market for specialty coffee are the roasters because they pay three-folds of what ordinary peoplepay. In the US they will look for the top quality coffee for their own style of roasting,” Juan said.
The buying price of Robusta as a commodity is at P80 to P90 while the roasters pay P150. The Arabica before was priced at P140 to P150, now the selling farm price of coffee from Balutakay Farmers Association of Davao del Sur is at P250.
“I think that is how we will empower the farmers by producing quality coffee that could command higher market price,” she said.
‘We have a grading sheet for our coffee,” she said, “and in fact the quality of Philippine coffee is one of the top where some scored at 86,’ she added.
The PCBI have graders that were trained by the Coffee Quality Institute and they are called Professional Q Graders and Certified Q Graders.
She said the new wave of coffee shops that are sprouting anywhere in the Philippines sell coffee before at P40 to P50. Now, specialty coffee ranges from P120 to P140 and even up to P180 if the preparation is done openly.
She said this development would encourage to produce more specialty coffee.
‘We hope to double our entries from 80 in 2016 to 160 in the next Kape Pilipino 2018,’ she said.
According to Manny Torrejon of PCBI, the secrets are not secrets after all. ‘Clean your farms. Taste and cup your coffees. And be serious about quality. The other secret is in the processing,’ he said.
Torrejon has been cupping coffee for over 20 years now.
(c) 2017 Philippines News Agency Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).