Nestlé sees huge potential in Mindanao
DAVAO City, Philippines—Nestlé Philippines is looking forward to the expansion of more coffee bean farms in the country, particularly in Mindanao.
According to Edith de Leon, Nestlé senior vice president, Mindanao’s rich volcanic soil and climate make it one of the ideal sites for coffee bean production in the country.
“Mindanao has all the potential for coffee planting, with a large area suited for coffee farming because of its climate and its soil,” De Leon said.
But the expansion of more coffee plantations in Mindanao will depend upon investors who are willing to come in, she added.
Among Nestlé’s top sources of coffee beans are Sultan Kudarat, Cavite, the Davao region, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley and Caraga.
Sultan Kudarat, particularly the towns of Kulaman, Kalamansig and Lebak, produce up to 75 percent of the company’s current needs, she said. Coffee remains one of the country’s “unheralded” cash crops, de Leon said, earning an estimated P5 billion a year.
But local coffee producers are unable to meet total domestic demand. The country continues to import between 10,000 and 30,000 tons of coffee each year, De Leon said.
“It’s a P1- to P3-billion pie that potential coffee farmers can share,” she said.
Of the 64,000 metric tons in annual demand for coffee beans in the domestic market, only about 50 percent, or roughly 30,000 metric tons, are being produced by local farmers. Nestlé, the country’s largest buyer of green coffee beans, buys as much as 80 percent of the entire country’s coffee produce, De Leon said.
She said Nestlé was working hard to realize its goal of sourcing 75 percent of its needs from local farmers by 2020.
“Just imagine how much it will mean to farmers if they can serve a portion of the P5-billion market for coffee in the country?” she said during the second Philippine Investors’ Coffee forum at the Marco Polo hotel here on Monday.
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