“Coffee will address poverty in Region 02.” This was the assurance of Hon. Junie Cua, Governor of Quirino and Regional Development Council (RDC) - 2 Chair in his inspirational message during the 2nd Cagayan Valley Coffee Business Forum and Brand Launching held on April 26, 2018 at the Dreamwave Hotel, City of Ilagan, Isabela. With the launching of almost a dozen various coffee brands during the Forum, this vision is not far-fetched.
Aptly themed “Coffee 2022: Passion for Inclusion”, the event that gathered more than 400 coffee stakeholders - mostly farmers, was graced by key national coffee industry players from both the government and private sectors.
DTI-CAR Director Myrna Pablo, the National Coffee Industry Cluster Coordinator discussed about the government’s role in coffee industry development. Like Governor Cua, she said that there is a bright future for the coffee industry in the Philippines with the full support of government to the industry. She pointed out that the fisheries and high value crops sectors, which are lagging behind in development, should be fully developed as these sectors could effect the inclusive growth that government envisions for Filipinos. She suggested for the RDC 2 to pass a Resolution for all regional government offices to patronize Region 2’s coffee brands.
The Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Coffee of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. David T. Santos, presented the Good Agricultural Practices on Coffee Production. “Like human beings who need to drink more water to live, so must coffee.” This is the primary advice of Dr. Santos who stressed the importance of the presence of water source in the production site, such as an irrigation system. He also encouraged the farmers to adopt technological innovations in their coffee production to increase their yield and to improve the quality of their produce.
The discussions of Ms. Ruth Novales, Vice President and Corporate Affairs Executive of Nestlé Philippines and Co-Chair of the Philippine Coffee Council; Ms. Alvira Reyes, President of the Philippine Coffee Alliance; and Mr. Rich Watanabe, founder of SGD (Sagada) Coffee and coffee specialist, centered on partnership and alliance towards developing a sustainable coffee industry.
The creation of the Cagayan Valley Coffee Industry Council (CVCIC) in 2017 marked a convergent effort to develop the coffee industry in Region 02. Strongly supported by the DTI- RO 2, DA-RFO 2 and other regional line agencies, and with the signing of the Cagayan Valley Coffee Roadmap 2017-2022, the council and their members are now steadily moving forward and making their own mark in the direction set for the regional coffee industry.
Highlighting the activity was the launching of ten (10) coffee brands developed with the strong support of the DTI and DA:
After the inspiring presentations of the speakers and the messages of DTI Regional Director Mr. Ruben B. Diciano and DA OIC-Regional Executive Director Lorenzo M. Caranguian, and CVCIC President Mr. Diosdado Estocapio, the region is surely set to become one of the “most important coffee places in the Philippines” where poverty is alleviated with every farmer now zealous to integrate coffee in his corn or rice production, and with the other stakeholders keen on becoming part of the coffee value chain.
Meanwhile, the brand owners and other producers and processors will continue to work harder with government to achieve Mr. Watanabe’s dream “to see each of these brands become the world’s best coffee.”
The Regional Coffee Forum and Brand Launch is a collaborative project among DTI, DA and the CVCIC.