Baguio to produce its own brewed coffee

The City of Baguio is now preparing its resources, manpower, and facilities for the production of its own coffee brand, according to Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan.

Earlier this year, Weygan-Allan passed an ordinance seeking to establish the city’s coffee processing center. She relayed that the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) has already started renovating the Sangguniang Kabataan building of Irisan Barangay which will house the main coffee processing plant.

At present, a series of public consultations and meetings with the coffee growers in the barangays is being conducted to convince them to form their associations and to register with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The next step is to consolidate all these associations into a cooperative which will man the coffee processing center, Weygan-Allan said.

“This is unknown to many. We have coffee plantations in the city. And we want that the coffee produced by our farmers will be processed here, so we can have a brand that we can call our own and can boast of,” the councilor explained.

The city government, in partnership with concerned agencies, will soon conduct trainings to the coffee farmers and associations to ensure high quality and productivity rate, Weygan-Allan added.

The DA has pledged funding for the said project. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has also promised to offer assistance.

The coffee processing center will do all the steps of coffee production such as depulping, hulling, grinding, roasting, sorting, vacuum packaging, impulse sealing, and product delivery.

“The coffee industry is laborious and time-consuming. Due to absence of facilities, low quality coffee is produced and is sold at a low price. An estimated 30% of the projected harvest is lost by the farmers,” Weygan-Allan stated.

Having a coffee processing center, according to the councilor, will increase the productivity of coffee farmers as they will be provided with energy-efficient technologies and more sophisticated equipment resulting in the increase of their revenue and the sustainability of their coffee farms.

Meanwhile, DA-CAR Asst. Regional Director Juliet Lucas said coffee growers and traders in the locality should build up a certain coffee brand that will give the best indicators of its origin.  

“That brand is the representation of the quality of that certain coffee. You make a good story out of your product. Once you establish your product’s good reputation, it can now compete with other products in the market and you can now command the price,” Lucas explained. -Jordan G. Habbiling