Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to bridge various gaps in the supply chain to make the local coffee industry more competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently gathered coffee farmers, processors, manufacturers, Regional Council Chairs, national government agencies, and members of the academe from the Island of Luzon for the Luzon Island Coffee Cluster Assembly.
The assembly aimed to present the national and localized version roadmap of each region, establish an institutional mechanism of roadmap localization and implementation, and learn about coffee quality standards and market opportunities.
National Coffee Coordinator and DTI Cordillera Administrative Region Regional Director Myrna Pablo explained the current situation of the industry, especially the gap between demand and production.
“The Philippine coffee production is far from serving coffee consumption of the country. Currently, 90% of the demand is imported for about Php 12 billion. The demand is still increasing with expanding consumption based among younger generation and night shift workers. Likewise, coffee shops are increasing, and specialty coffee market is expanding,” Pablo said, adding that while coffee production is almost all over the country, the country’s production is very far from sufficiency.
In March, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol signed the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 to bridge the gap between the steady high demand for coffee and the slow decline in production, and to provide aid to coffee farmers.
Pablo said that the Coffee Roadmap is focused on optimizing income for Filipino farmers and the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the industry.
The activity also discussed the Philippine Coffee Market vs. World Market Behaviors, Consumer Demand Innovation, Coffee Science Researches, Coffee Development Programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Science and Technology, and the High Value Crops Development Program of the Department of Agriculture.
Coffee is among the priority industry clusters that DTI is targeting to develop in the next five years, given its high potential to accelerate the region’s economic growth. While the sector has so much to offer, development remains slow.
In 2016, DTI has assisted 2,695 coffee MSMEs while providing 19,232 jobs to Filipinos.
The Philippines envisions a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, and provides sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters.
Some of the proposed strategies to achieve the target are to improve quality and availability of planting material, enhance farm efficiency and investments, and improve competitiveness, market price, and coffee standards.