Premium coffee supplier Henry & Sons has formed a non-profit organization to create a thriving and sustainable coffee industry.
The Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence aims to address the major issues that are stopping coffee farmers from producing better coffee in larger quantities.
Government officials and industry players supported the launching of the foundation coinciding with the “Bloom 2016 Coffee Festival”in La Trinidad, Benguet.
“Our province is known as one of the producers of the best coffee in the country today and perhaps in the world. I hope to work together with FSCE to help strengthen people’s interest in the coffee farming industry and help the true VIPs of this event, the coffee farmers,” Benguet Governor Cresencio said.
FSCE, through its five programs, aims to provide coffee farmers with potable water; tools to prevent their children from catching common diseases, including dengue and chicken pox; a source of steady income while waiting for their crops to be sold; a direct line to coffee sellers who will but their crops at a higher price, and; educational assistance for their children. In addition, the organization will also provide tools, facilities and trainings to calibrate coffee farming practices and put the Philippines at par with leading coffee farming countries.
“There are a lot of marginalized farmers who need help to be assisted in their livelihood, and a lot of their children are trying to escape farming,” said Department of Agriculture regional executive director Lorenzo Caranguian. “If we work together with FSCE to teach them to treat coffee production as a way of life, teach them the value of farming, and teach them how they can promote their own coffee, I know that we can change their minds and encourage them to stay.”
According to Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines now consumes an average of 65,000 metric tons of coffee annually and is projected to reach 100,000 metric tons in the years to come. Out of this, only about 25,000 metric tons of coffee comes from local farms.
To help support FSCE’s efforts, Henry & Sons created a line of five special coffee brews called Bloom Coffee. Everyone can purchase them at Robinson’s grocery stores, Rustan’s department stores, and through the Henry & Sons mobile app for P200 for every 250 grams. For every purchase of a tin can, P50 goes to the specific program it represents.
Bloom 2016 Coffee Festival also hosted FSCE’s first ever Crop of the Year Award, where six farmers were given the chance to show industry leaders the quality of their crops.
Through the competition, FSCE hopes to reach out to more farmers for their next Bloom Coffee Festival. Slated to happen in February 2017, the next coffee festival will bring coffee sellers to La Trinidad for an auction where qualified participants will get the chance to have their crops sold at double its current price.
“FSCE’s efforts will help us to source high-quality Arabica from the farmers. It helps Toby’s Estate Philippines serve good coffee from all around the world, including our own,” said Raoul de Peralta of Toby’s Estate.
FSCE also wishes to award two Moisture Meters to La Trinidad farmers by February 2017. “The ideal moisture content of beans is between 9 to 12 percent. Beans with this moisture content are priced significantly higher in the market. This is one more thing we want to teach the farmers—to always strive to reach the right moisture content,”said Michael Harris Lim, director of FSCE and president and CEO of Henry & Sons.
“It may not be much, but this simple act that FSCE is doing resonates deeply as it impacts the lives of the beneficiaries of our foundation. We are able to form sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships with different organizations because they see for themselves that even our small efforts make impact. The few steps we are taking now to help farmers of La Trinidad count more than the biggest promises,” Lim said.
Henry & Sons has been paving the way for the improvement of the local coffee scene since the early 90s when it became the first company to provide coffee shops a reliable supply of freshly-roasted coffee beans and top-of-the-line espresso machines.
In the early 2000s, the brand became the first coffee roasting company in the Philippines to package coffee in tin cans equipped with one-way valves and pull tabs, which put locally-manufactured coffee at par with international brands.
Henry & Sons has recently signed a 10-year partnership with world-renowned coffee expert and writer, Scott Rao, to do a series of trainings that aims to further raise the bar for coffee experience in the country.
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