Since the program began in 2018, Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) has been striving to help increase the production and export of conventional and specialty coffee in the Philippines. The project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and implemented by ACDI/VOCA. As COVID-19 restrictions eased last year, PhilCAFE accomplished several milestones, including those achieved by staff and participants featured below:
January: Coffee roasting training
Sixteen Philippine coffee industry players from across the country completed a three-month professional coffee roasting course organized by PhilCAFE, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), and the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia. Participants learned about techniques for proper coffee roasting and internationally accepted standards.
February: Compliance with Indigenous People’s Rights Act
PhilCAFE received its Certificate of Non-Overlap from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, attesting that its activities do not overlap with any ancestral domains in Kinilis, Polomok, or South Cotabato, in compliance with the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997. The project also received certifications last year, specifically for ancestral domains in Barangay Tibolo, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Sitio Kule, Barangay Salacafe, T’boli, and South Cotabato.
March: Philippine Coffee Quality Competition in Davao City
Arabica coffee from the Mount Apo Range in Davao del Sur and the Mount Kalatungan Range in Bukidnon secured the top spots in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) held in Davao City. Meanwhile, a coffee from Ilocos Sur clinched the top spot once more in the fine Robusta category, making the back-to-back win a first in the event’s five-year history. PCQC is considered the most prestigious annual coffee quality competition in the Philippines.
A team from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service expressed optimism about the growth of the Philippine coffee sector after visiting PhilCAFE activities in the Davao Region.
April: Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston
Philippine coffee took the limelight during the Specialty Coffee Expo (SCE) held in Boston. The Philippine booth showcased the 12 Arabica and 10 Robusta winners of PCQC 2022. A steady flow of international guests and participants expressed keen interest in Philippine coffee, while some buyers learned of the Philippines’ superior quality coffee.
Considered to be North America’s largest specialty coffee trade show, SCE 2022 featured 420 exhibiting companies and organizations and hosted 10,000 participants.
May: Record prices earned by Filipino coffee farmers
Filipino coffee farmers who won the PCQC 2022 received record prices during the online auction organized by the Philippine Coffee Guild. PCQC winner Marifel Dela Cerna, of Davao del Sur, sold her Arabica coffee for PHP 3,922.50 per kilogram (US$75), while Mabini Ubuan, of Ilocos Sur, secured a price of PHP 2,615 (US$50) for his winning Robusta coffee. Both winning coffees were bought by the U.S.-based Teofilo Coffee Company.
June: Capturing interest at the World of Coffee
Fine Robusta coffee produced in the Philippines captured the interest of international coffee enthusiasts and buyers during a special cupping session at the World of Coffee in Milan, Italy. Two Philippine Robusta coffees were featured in the cupping event that included coffees from Brazil, Vietnam, Uganda, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Laos. The World of Coffee is Europe’s premier coffee trade exhibition organized by the Specialty Coffee Association.
July: Cupping and calibration courses
Thomas Ameloot and Natchapat Srichandr, of CQI, led a series of cupping courses and calibration exams for 67 individuals, representing coffee producer organizations, state universities and colleges, coffee industry stakeholders, and key government agencies, in Manila and Davao City. At least 30 individuals participated in two courses to understand coffee taste and flavor profiles along with an introduction to CQI cupping methods, which focused on techniques of gustation, olfactory, and sensory skills. CQI, PhilCAFE, and the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia collaborated to organize these courses.
August: Youth coffee mentors receive scholarships
Eleven officers of the 4H Club of Maglambing Integrated School in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, received full scholarships after becoming youth coffee mentors. PhilCAFE staff trained the 11 club officers to become youth coffee mentors who have committed to training at least 300 young coffee farmers and students in their hometowns. School administration and community stakeholders supported the move to support responsible and caring young leaders who facilitate positive youth development in their municipalities.
September: Philippine Coffee Expo
More than 1,600 coffee sector stakeholders from the Philippines gathered in Davao City for the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022 to discuss the growth of Philippine coffee. The expo’s trade fair and exhibit, which featured 67 coffee-related companies and organizations, secured cash and booked sales amounting to PHP 6.6 million. The business matching sessions facilitated PHP 304.6 million of negotiated sales equal to almost 700 metric tons of specialty Arabica, Fine Robusta, and mixed premium grade coffee products. Twenty-nine coffee carts at the trade fair sold more than PHP 340,000 worth of products, and at least 3,000 people attended.
October: Northern Mindanao coffee sustainability planning
In Malaybalay, Bukidnon, 90 stakeholders from Northern Mindanao’s coffee industry gathered for a two-day meeting and sustainability planning session. The event aimed to strengthen collaboration and facilitate partnerships that will help sustain the coffee sector’s growth.
PhilCAFE sponsored a delegation to a cupping at the Seoul Café Show for Philippine Robusta coffees. Five of the eight coffee samples cupped were graded as Fine Robusta by 16 Korean coffee professionals, including CQI instructor Paul Kim, owner of the KimKilJin Coffee Lab in Seoul, South Korea. In an online post, Kim thanked the Filipino coffee farmers for allowing Korean cuppers to experience the high quality of Philippine Robusta coffee.
Officials of the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Provincial Government of Mountain Province launched the Montañosa Coffee Center, a facility designed to help improve the quality, efficiency, and sustainability of the coffee sector in the province. The center, located at MPSPC’s complex in Bauko, encourages interdisciplinary research aimed to enhance the quality of the province’s coffee products and benefit both the scientific community, private sector, and coffee producers.
Learn more about our work in the Philippines.
Learn more about Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise.