Glory days of PH coffee industry as 4th largest exporter, is it possible to bring back?

  • The Philippines was once the fourth largest exporter of coffee beans globally
  • Batangas was known as “Coffee Capital of the Philippines”
  • Perhaps, it’s time to bring back the glory days of our coffee industry

Looking back, the Philippines was once known for its massive coffee production. The country was the fourth largest exporter of coffee beans in 1880, and became the only source of coffee beans worldwide when the coffee rust hit Brazil, Africa, and Java.

Image from Philippine Coffee Board via Instagram

The Philippine Coffee Board shared that Spanish Franciscan monk introduced the plant in Lipa, Batangas in 1970. Production continued to expand to other towns in Batangas, the province was known as “Coffee Capital of the Philippines.” However, Philippines’ global rank incrementally went down — placing 110th in terms of output in 2014, due to several factors.

Many Filipinos dream to help in bringing back the glory days of the Philippine coffee industry. Kathleen Manto, for one, started a coffee business which later turned into a corporation named Varacco Inc. with her as CEO,  having Circa 1740 Coffee as trade name.

PIA quoted Manto saying, “We want to bring back the golden glory of Barako when Lipa City was the 4th largest exporter of coffee in the world in the 1800s. Batangas, as we know, is the authentic source of Barako coffee.”

Manto said the company does not only produce unique coffee blends but also helps in bringing back “the glory of Batangas barako coffee in these modern times as well as in the propagation of Liberica coffee which is scarce nowadays.” Moreover, the company is on its way to establishing its own coffee shop Timplado.

Image from PIA via website

You can help too. You may seek assistance of the government. For growing coffee plants, the Department of Agriculture/Philippine Coffee Board may help. For business opportunities related to coffee, approach the Department of Trade and Industry.

With the flourishing coffee shop brands as favorite hang out place of students and professionals, there’s livelihood in coffee. Maybe it’s time to start making plans to bring back the glory days of our coffee industry.

Image from Philippine Coffee Board via Instagram