Coffee mixes spur rise in local demandBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Demand for coffee is rising, mostly because of availability of a wide variety of instant coffee and instant coffee mixes, according to an industry group.
The total demand for coffee in the country has reached upwards of 100,000 metric tons green bean equivalent, up from just about 75,000 tons two years ago, according to the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI). The group attributed this to instant coffee and related mixes becoming staple drinks of an “increasingly 24/7 workforce.”
“But we project an increase in roast and ground coffee, too, of about 5 percent annually,” or about 5,000 tons, said PCBI chairperson Nicholas Matti in a statement. Matti recently came from Mindanao to talk about coffee and saw that many farms’ produce went directly to local coffee shops and did not reach wholesale green coffee traders.
Coffee is termed “green” before it is roasted or processed into roast and ground coffee (for brewing) or for instant coffee or soluble coffee production. While urbanization has caused many Cavite and Batangas coffee farms to become resorts or subdivisions, Cavite continues to sell coffee as roasted beans with brands for every town like Café Amadeo, Kape de Bailen, Severino’s Aguinaldo Blend to name a few. Cavite is also the home of Gourmet Coffee, Kickstart coffee and other roasters who supply Manila’s cafes with freshly-roasted beans.
“While we are planting new coffee trees say in Negros Occidental, someone in Cavite or Batangas is cutting trees for development of the land into homes and weekend resorts,” he said.
Philippine traders and manufacturers, PCBI said, import about 75000 metric tons from Vietnam and Indonesia annually to address the gap between production and demand. The imports cost about P5 billion to P7 billion given today’s prices for coffee, according to industry data.
“We are presently working together with the National Competitiveness Council to draft a roadmap so we can be competitive in coffee again. If we join hands in addressing the challenge, the Philippines can become a net exporter again maybe in about 10 to 15 years,” he said.
Coffee is a P40 billion industry employing about 70,000 farmers in 22 provinces.
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