Roxas seeks to regain RP reputation in coffee global market
Vice-presidential race frontrunner and Liberal Party candidate Senator Mar Roxas today said that an Aquino-Roxas government will fight to regain the Philippine’s reputation as a key player in the global coffee market.
“Katulad ng kape, mapait ang karanasan ng mga magsasaka sa mga nakaraang dekada. Isinantabi nila ang pagtatanim ng kape dahil hindi sapat ang suporta sa kanila ng gobyerno (Like coffee, our farmers’ experience in the past decades has been bitter. They set aside coffee planting because government failed to amply support them),” he said.
“We will regain our coffee industry’s greatness by ensuring ample supply chain and marketing support to our coffee farmers, focusing our efforts in producing niche, specialty and high-value coffee blends,” he stressed.
From a high of 127,000 metric tons in the last 20 years, coffee production has decreased to 97,428 in 2008 according to government statistics. In a similar time period, the total land area cultivated with coffee has fallen from 130,000 hectares to around 70,000, according to the Cavite State University.
Roxas however said that all is not lost – it is still possible to revive the coffee industry’s greatness, as long as there is a guided and targeted government plan to support coffee farmers and the whole coffee industry.
In 2001 when he was Secretary of Trade and Industry, Roxas bonded together with local leaders and the private sector to pursue a common vision to revive the coffee industry in Cavite.
This led to the creation of the Cafe Amadeo Development Cooperative, with the aim of producing the “Pahimis” blend, among other specialty coffee blends for the export and domestic markets.
Roxas through DTI then assisted the farmers’ cooperative in its requisites for growth, including securing a P11.7 million loan from Quedan Corp. and helping out in marketing their products. Now, Cafe Amadeo is a world-renowned producer and marketer of coffee for export and local sale, and supports more than 4,500 coffee farmers.
“Hindi magtatagumpay ang ating coffee farmers sa Amadeo kung ang inaatupag ng mga lider ay sarili nilang interes (Our coffee farmers in Amadeo wouldn’t have succeeded if leaders only look after their own interests.),” he stressed.