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Stakeholders bring proposals to refocus the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap

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DAVAO CITY, The Philippines – Various coffee industry stakeholders from the Davao Region joined the others in revisiting the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap on January 14 and 15 and came up with relevant recommendations. A total of seven representatives from the government agencies, non-government organizations, coffee establishments, and coffee farmers’ groups of the region participated in the two-day convergence to get updates and share their insights.

Davao Region Coffee Council chairperson Joji Pantoja stressed the need to institutionalize the cupping competition during the virtual Focus Group Discussion for the review of the 2017-2022 Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap. Pantoja, who is the founder and chief executive officer of the Davao-grown enterprise Coffee for Peace, also cited the importance of focusing government’s interventions on the production of quality coffee beans

The activity, which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Agriculture (DA) jointly organized, served as an avenue for coffee farmers, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to discuss several sound recommendations that could be adopted to sustain the industry’s growth.

“An awareness on the standards set by the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition will benefit both the Robusta and Arabica-producing areas, whether the market is industrial, specialty coffee roaster or coffee shop,” she said.

To recall, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol approved and signed the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap in the presence of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte four years ago. The roadmap is considered as the blueprint to optimize the realization of the industry’s objectives, especially the attainment of inclusive growth through the value chain approach. As such, a regular review is necessary, which the region’s coffee industry leaders and movers strongly believe.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said the review will ensure that the commitments of the government agencies and industry organizations are effectively carried out. Likewise, the activity was done to recalibrate the goals and strategies stipulated in the roadmap.

Taking off from the updates and recommendations, the coffee industry stakeholders came up with several recommended goals for the next two years, to wit: 1) to increase growth in the domestic market by 5 percent annually for Arabica coffee and 10 percent for Robusta coffee; 2) to improve the competitiveness of the farmers; 3) to achieve a return of investment (ROI) of at least 35 percent for coffee and intercropping; and, 4) to increase the yield to at least 0.6 metric tons per hectare.

To achieve these goals amid the new realities and challenges faced by the industry, priority strategies were set for implementation from 2021 until 2022. These include the re-activation and strengthening of the Regional and Provincial Coffee Councils, strengthening of investment promotion, expansion of coffee plantation, and institutionalization of the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC), among others.

With the reviewed roadmap and the renewed commitment of the government agencies and private sector, the stakeholders are optimistic about the achievement of substantial results toward the inclusive development and growth of the coffee industry.