Known for its standing in the coffee industry, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) boasts of several institutions and enterprises which can offer wide experience and expertise on coffee operations. It has long been popular for its reputation on producing quality coffee products, from seed to cup.

Cognizant of this and taking advantage of their stint in Baguio City relative to their participation to the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference, the members of the Cagayan Valley Coffee Industry Council (CVCIC) conducted a benchmarking visit on March 22-23, 2018 in Benguet and Mountain Province to learn best practices across the entire chain of the coffee industry.

The delegation’s first stop was at the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and AgroForestry which is under the administration of Benguet State University (BSU) and was awarded as the Champion of the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition in 2017. The visit was hosted by Dr. Valentino Macanes, the Director of said institute. Dr. Macanes shared important strategies in coffee production such as proper selection of seedlings, regular pruning, irrigation and rejuvenation. He also toured the participants in the mini-cupping laboratory of the institute and its processing facility provided by DTI-CAR.

After a productive day in Benguet, the delegation proceeded to Sagada. With high spirit, the participants continued their mission on the next day, visiting Sagada Coffee Growers and Producers Organization (SAGCPO) and Bana’s Café.

SACGPO is a beneficiary of DTI’s Shared Service Facility, which processing center and operations boast with a License to Operate from the Food and Drugs Administration. Bearing the brand SAGADA GOLD, SACGPO is a provider of quality ground coffee which market has already extended across the country. The participants were toured around the facility and were given a brief orientation on each of the equipment.

Bana’s Café, owned by the late coffee farmer Goad Sibayan, is a multi-awarded specialty coffee shop which has an existing partnership with the Coffee Heritage Project. Recently, it was awarded as a winner in the 3rd International Contest of Coffees Roasted in Their Countries of Origin in Paris last 2017. The coffee shop is strategically located and has only a small area. But indeed, quality of the coffees being served in the coffee shop remains the top selling proposition of the business. It boasts with its different blends and its famous civet coffee, all of which are personally grown by the family in their coffee farms.

More than the insights learned from the mission, the members of the CVCIC acquired inspiration and motivation to push the local coffee industry in Cagayan Valley. This, as together they acclaim “If others can do it, why can’t we?”