The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), spearheaded and sponsored the participation of the Cagayan Valley Coffee Industry Council (CVCIC) to the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference on March 20-21, 2018 at the Hotel Supreme, Baguio City.

The 32-large members of the CVCIC made Region 02 the 3rd largest delegation among all the participating regions in the country.

The Philippine Coffee Conference is an annual event which gathers several coffee stakeholders in the country to tackle new issues, development and trends of the sector, in relation to the country’s pursuit to be fully self-sufficient by 2021 as laid down in the 5-year Philippine Coffee Roadmap. The 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference is now hosted by the Philippine Coffee Council which is composed of public and private representations.

On her introductory message, Director Myrna Pablo of DTI-CAR and the National Industry Cluster Coordinator for Coffee cited several reports that indicate the country’s dependence to coffee imports in spite of being one of the top coffee-consuming countries in the world. She narrated the historical approval of the Philippine Coffee Roadmap which primary aim is to solve the problem of the country’s flat production trend.

For his part, Director Narciso Edillo of DA-CAR, expressed his strong faith in the future of the coffee sector with the approval of the Philippine Coffee Roadmap. He emphasized the need to focus resources into priority commodities with existing roadmaps so that the Philippines will be able to establish its own niche markets.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Senator Cynthia Villar, the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Food also graced the event. Sec. Lopez’s message focused on the need to hasten the 7M’s of Successful Entrepreneurs to fully maximize the potentials of the coffee sector: Mastery, Mentoring, Money, Machine, Market, Models of Negosyo and Mindset Change. Sec. Lopez said that the 7M’s will also be applicable to the production side as farmers need to think as entrepreneurs by mastering business concept to make a good output and profit.

In her keynote message, Senator Villar dwell on value-adding activities in the farm level as she believes that increasing production alone will not solve poverty in the countryside. She encouraged stakeholders to invest in the development of agri-tourism sites with complete facilities and training centers. She also discussed inter-cropping schemes such as that of coffee and coconut, the latter having been allotted with a Coconut Industry Development Fund already approved by the Congress.

Senator Villar also administered the Oath of officers of the Philippine Coffee Council and the Regional Coffee Councils which include the CVCIC, represented by its Co-Chair, Mr. Diosdado Estocapio and the elected representatives for the provinces of Cagayan (Ms. Kirsten Reyes), Isabela (Ms. Hermie Fernandez), Quirino (Mr. Diosdado Estocapio) and Nueva Vizcaya (Ms. Juliet Morales).

Highlighting the conference includes the conduct of different plenary talks and break-out sessions including Profitability Analysis of Robusta and Arabica Coffees, Coffee Roasting, Coffee Cupping, Coffee Shop Business, Buyers’ Preference, Success Stories, among others.  The Kapetirya, a slogan for Philippine Coffee, was also installed to showcase the best coffees of the different participating regions.

Announcement of winners in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition culminated the event, with Ilocos Sur emerging as champion in the Robusta category and Benguet’s Oliver Oliem in the Arabica Category. Region 02 joined the competition with 3 coffee samples from the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.