National Food Fair to feature Philippine coffee entrepreneurs

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Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo (second from left) visits a coffee production facility in Barangay Balawag, Tabuk City, Kalinga, under the Shared Services Facility (SSF) program

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo (second from left) visits a coffee production facility in Barangay Balawag, Tabuk City, Kalinga, under the Shared Services Facility (SSF) program

Philippine coffee will be one of the featured products at the upcoming Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair to be held on August 21 to 25 at the SM Megatrade Hall.

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Filipinos have had a long-standing love affair with coffee. From the jeepney terminal kapihan to the ritzy boutique coffee shop, coffee is a staple drink that Filipinos from all walks of life rely on to see them through the day. During Spanish colonial times, the Philippines was one of the top coffee producers in the world and, with support from the national government, entrepreneurs hope to revive the glory days of Philippine coffee.

According to the Philippine Coffee Board, the Philippines is fortunate to be one of the few countries that produces four commercially viable coffee varieties namely: Arabica, Liberica (barako), Excelsa and Robusta.

From the lowland to mountain regions, climatic and soil conditions provide a good match for growing all four varieties. Coffee is now grown in the plateaus of Batangas and Cavite in southern Luzon; the highlands of Benguet, Kalinga and Apayao in the Cordilleras; the lowlands of Negros in the Visayas; and the rugged terrain of Bukidnon, Davao and other areas in central Mindanao.

Coffee lovers will be able to sample and take home the best and freshest blends from Filipino coffee growers at the Coffee Pavilion of the Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair.

This is part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s continuing effort to provide marketing support for MSMEs. Earlier this year, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo established a Shared Services Facility (SSF) for Cordillera coffee growers as part of the DTI’s big push for SME development by upgrading production capacity.

The Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair of the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT) provides additional support by opening up the domestic market to MSMEs. According to BDT Director Rhodora Leaño, “We will be offering the best in Filipino delicacies and specialty food products from SME manufacturers nationwide. This will provide our food producers with a wonderful opportunity to reach out not only to institutional buyers, but also the general consuming public.”

In addition to the Coffee Pavilion, the Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair will also have a Filipino Kitchen to highlight provincial specialties. Fresh and processed food from the country’s 16 regions, as well as hot meals will be sold during the event. Cooking demonstrations, food tasting activities and seminars will be conducted throughout the event. The first day of the fair will be devoted exclusively to institutional buyers from hotels, resorts, and restaurants, as well as media. The food fair will then be open to the public in the succeeding four days.

Some of the products to be sold during the event refresh produce, processed fruits/vegetables and organic/herbal/ natural products, meat products, fish/marine products, pasta, noodles, rice, cereals and cocoa products, snack foods and confectionary products, condiments, sugar, molasses and beverages.

Interested buyers may contact the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade with offices at the Ground Floor of the DTI Building, 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City. They may also be reached via e-mail bdt@dti.gov.ph or at telephone (02) 751-3223. Log on to www.dtex.org.ph and www.sikatpinoyfairs.com.

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