More coffee export deals eyed at IFEX Philippines, May 19-21

Philippine coffee is being positioned for a bigger role in export trade at IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest international food show, currently held today until May 21 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

According to Leandro Gazmin, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness and Marketing Services (DA-AMAS), IFEX Philippines will serve as a platform to streamline the goals of the Philippine Coffee Industry Road Map (PCIR) 2017-2022.

Recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last March, the roadmap serves as the country’s coffee industry guide to achieve a more competitive, profitable and sustainable growth, contributing to improving national food security measures and poverty alleviation.

“We want to showcase coffee here at IFEX Philippines 2017. The coffee pavilion will demonstrate the value-chain of coffee from bean to brew. Through IFEX, we would like to promote trade and position the Philippines as one of the sources of the best coffee,” says Asec. Gazmin.

“Roadmaps are vital instruments to provide direction to the industry stakeholders to move the industry forward. Roadmaps assess the current industry situation, identifies critical key result areas which have to be addressed to meet its short term and long term goals of developing the industry. Crafting of these roadmaps is stakeholders-led and thus participation and collaboration of both government and the private sector are promoted,” adds Gazmin.

According to the roadmap, the Philippine coffee industry intends to export 214,626 metric tons of green coffee by 2022. Should the goal be met, the Philippines would have surplus coffee available for export.

“From being a significant player, we are now a minor player in Southeast Asia. But the huge potential of Philippine coffee cannot be understated especially for specialty coffee. Our coffee has distinct flavor and aroma. In fact, based on a study, the Philippine beans is said to be competitive with imports from Viet Nam and Indonesia. Coupled with the right intervention, Philippine coffee has a bright future,” explained Gazmin.

The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world producing the four coffee varieties: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. Local coffee farmers have evolved from subsistent farmers to entrepreneurs through the active support from coffee organizations pushing coffee for a more sustainable enterprise. Coffee farmers are continuously adopting environment-friendly technologies and are intensifying their efforts to comply market standards.

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