Filipinos are avid coffee drinkers, but what we don’t know is, the coffee industry in the Philippines is in quite of an undoing. From being the fourth largest exporter of coffee beans in the 80s, the Philippines is now at the 110th spot. In addition, ninety-seven percent of coffee farming in the Philippines are done by small farmers with little access to the needed resources.
This is why Henry and Sons, a total coffee solutions provider, launched the social enterprise The Giving Café (TGC) located in Sheridan, Mandaluyong. TGC exclusively serves coffee from the company’s Bloom Coffee line, a special range crafted to support specific fundraising programs that address the five major issues affecting La Trinidad’s bean farmers.
This initiative aims to support the company’s advocacy arm, Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE), which has been helping La Trinidad and Benguet farmers out by zeroing in on aspects of their trade like livelihood, equipment, water, education, and health.
FSCE’s programs include: Cup to Seed raises funds for farmers in between harvests; The Giving Well takes care of the farmers’ potable water; Beans for the Little Ones sustains a vaccination program for their families; Coffee for Great Minds provides scholarships and Beans Within Reach connects buyers to La Trinidad’s own coffee origin.
For every can sold from the line, 50 Pesos goes to the program that corresponds to the special blend. This means that coffee aficionados not only get their caffeine fix, but they also help coffee farmers in their own way whenever they buy a product.
“Our foundation’s advocacy to create a more sustainable coffee industry is aligned with DOT-CAR’s RevBloom campaign on reblooming and regreening Benguet by pushing for agri-tourism – highlighting coffee as an essential element to boost tourism in the province,” said Carlo Tuazon, Henry and Sons Marketing Officer.
“The innovative The Giving Café is a concrete output of the ongoing government-private sector collaboration to raise the standards of farm tourism commodities in the Cordillera region, in this case the Benguet coffee—considered as one of the best Arabica strains in the world but which has not really taken off as it is faced by serious problems in the areas of production, marketing and distribution,” said Regional Director Venus Tan.
The DOT-CAR’s tourism redevelopment campaign movement known as RevBloom which connotes the collective desire to rev-up, revive, revisit and revitalize BLISTT (or Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay) has identified as one of its project components the promotion and development of farm tourism as a sustainable economic activity.
“Because The Giving Café is both a selling and experiential space, the coffee of Benguet will be put in the limelight to bring more awareness and momentum to this coffee as an economic driver and important element of the tourism value chain,” added Tan.
For more updates on the DOT-CAR’s Rev-Bloom campaign, like and follow www.facebook.com/RevBloomDOT.