Philippine Coffee Expo in Davao City attracts country’s coffee industry

A MAN belonging to the Ovu Manobo tribe proudly shows the locally produce coffee bean of Kidapawan City during the opening of the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022 at SM Lanang Premier’s SMX Convention Center in Davao City. — MAYA PADILLO

DAVAO CITY — The recently concluded face-to-face Philippine Coffee Expo (PCE) 2022 attracted participants from the coffee industry around the country.

The SMX Convention Center at SM Lanang Premier in Davao City was filled with coffee carts, stalls, and booths of the participating exhibitors from Davao City, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, offering coffee sampling and displaying coffee products.

Terrence J. Ryan, chief of party of the Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE), said there were 60 booths and 27 coffee carts at the expo, which ran from Sept. 14 to 15.

“We have a diverse group of participants displaying their products and coffee carts open to the public. We urge the public to come and try the coffee here. We got coffee from the Mountain Province, Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao. The whole coffee sector [is] represented,” Mr. Ryan said in an interview.

The expo invited Philippine and international speakers who discussed coffee, climate change, coffee quality, marketing, the role of the Q Standard in the Philippine Specialty Coffee Sector, and everything about coffee.

“There was a whole range of topic representations in the whole sector that included universities, researchers, coffee producers, and coffee quality. It was an excellent two-day event,” Mr. Ryan said.

The expo was highlighted by competitions on latte art, a “brewdown,” and cup tasters.

Originally scheduled for April 2020, the expo was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been waiting for two and a half years and we’re able to gather exhibitors. We will be able to promote the coffee sector together,” Mr. Ryan said.

The expo is considered the largest gathering of key stakeholders in the Philippine coffee sector.

Mr. Ryan said they are eyeing holding another PCE in May 2023.

DOT 11 COMMITS TO PROMOTE DAVAO COFFEEAside from promoting various tourist destinations, the regional office of the Department of Tourism (DoT 11) has now committed to promoting Davao coffee brands to help local coffee farmers in Davao Region.

There was the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PhilCAFE, represented by Mr. Ryan, and DoT 11 director Tanya Rabat-Tan.

The partnership covers the implementation of their respective projects, relative to the development of the coffee industry and farm tourism promotion. This includes the identification and selection of project beneficiaries in areas where both projects operate; supporting training on good agricultural practices; project planning and assessment; exchange and sharing of expertise, practices, and technology; facilitating access to finance support to project beneficiaries; and initiatives on coffee related farm tourism policy, rules, and regulations.

“DoT 11 wants to promote and preserve tradition through food. We want to highlight Davao coffee as it is very much part of our daily lives,” Ms. Tan said during the PEP Talks at SM Lanang Premier’s SMX Convention Center on Tuesday.

DoT 11 is promoting agri-tourism- or farm tourism-related programs and identified coffee as one of the flagship initiatives that has potential for domestic and international tourism, specifically “from seed to cup” experiences in the Mount Apo range and related coffee producing areas in the region.

Ms. Tan said the partnership also aims to bring awareness and appreciation for coffee to the market level.

As part of DoT 11’s initiatives, Ms. Tan said she will encourage hotels and resorts in the Davao Region to use Davao coffee in their menus.

“We will also bring out to them training for the appreciation of our coffee and it’s value as well. We are hoping they will learn more how to prepare the coffee —  it’s not enough that you have the beans coming from this place because it is also important how to prepare them as well,” Ms. Tan said.

The partnership will also advocate good agricultural practices on coffee production, management, and postharvest handling and processing activities as features of the Coffee CRAWL or Farm Tourism “seed to cup” experience in Southern Mindanao

Mr. Ryan expressed excitement over the MOU signing.

“There is a great relationship between coffee and tourism. Coffee can be more fun in the Philippines as well,” he said. — Maya M. Padillo