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25 April 2017

The Philippine delegation attending the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle, Washington on 20-23 April 2017 and the Port to-Cup Coffee Tour in Seattle and Portland on 24-29 April 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Philippine Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for High Value Commercial Crops Development Evelyn Laviña led the Philippine delegation to the Global Specialty Coffee Expo hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America in Seattle, Washington on 20-23 April 2017.

For the first time in Philippine Coffee History, Philippine coffee varieties from different production areas were cupped and graded by certified Q graders from across the globe following the cupping protocol of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

These included the winning Robusta and Arabica coffee varieties in the recently concluded Kape Pilipino Coffee Competition held in Cavite State University, Philippines.

The said winning varieties were produced by two members of the Philippine delegation, namely, Imelda Mendoza of Kape Maramag Association and Bai Adelina Tarino of Inhandig Tribal Multi-Purpose Cooperative, both coffee farmers from Bukidnon.

Through the joint efforts of the Philippine Coffee Board and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), and in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine coffee farmers are now being prepared to compete with the world market.

“This ‘cupping’ at the Global Coffee Expo in Seattle, Washington is a prelude to making the world know of Philippine coffee,” said Undersecretary Laviña.

Cupping is important for coffee farmers to know the value of their coffee produce and for them to know the right price for their coffee.

The Coffee Quality Institute also showcased Philippine coffee in its booth and recognized the Bukidnon-based coffee farmers during its 19th Annual luncheon held on 23 April 2017.

After the Coffee Expo, the Philippine delegation will participate in the "Port-to-Cup Coffee Tour" supported and organized by Atlas Coffee and the Coffee Quality Institute, to visit facilities in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

The Philippine Specialty Coffee Industry will have the chance to physically see the path coffee takes once it arrives in the United States, to better understand the US Specialty Coffee industry, and to further develop direct relationships with some top coffee roasters and retailers. It is meant as an opportunity for roasters and coffee shop owners, and other coffee stakeholder to talk about coffee, including storage, transport, roasting techniques, roast curves, packaging, equipment, and other details of the trade.

While noting the tight competition in the global market for coffee, Philippine Agriculture Attaché to the United States Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa is optimistic that with the climatic and soil conditions in key areas of the Philippines, the farmers' sustainable practices and the joint focus and efforts of the government and private sector in developing the specialty coffee industry in partnership with trading partners, quality Philippine coffee can have its niche in the United States and the world, and the premium price it can potentially enjoy will be expected as a means to increase the incomes of smallholder coffee farmers.

According to a 2015 consumer survey conducted by National Coffee Association of America, 48% of U.S. coffee cups are perceived by the consumer to be specialty.

The retail value of the U.S. coffee market is estimated to be $48 billion dollars with specialty comprising approximately 55% value share.

ACDI/VOCA implements the four-year USDA Food for Progress Mindanao Productivity for Agricultural Commerce and Trade (MinPACT) project. MinPACT increases the incomes of smallholder cocoa, coconut, and coffee farming families in Southern and Western Mindanao. ACDI/VOCA and its partners do this by strengthening farmers’ capacity and that of other value chain actors for improved farm management, increased productivity, product quality, available services, and access to markets. ###