DTI to assist Negrense coffee growers in seeking fair trade product accreditation

BACOLOD CITY — Coffee growers in Negros Occidental who are beneficiaries of the Integrated Social Forestry (ISF) program are getting assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in seeking accreditation with Fair Trade Philippines.

Rachel Nufable, chief of the Industry Development Division of DTI-Negros Occidental, said there is a niche of buyers for accredited fair trade products which local coffee growers can also tap.

Nufable said they will conduct a series of meetings to plan the branding of products, particularly coffee, through fair trade accreditation.

Once accredited, coffee products from Negros Occidental can be linked to markets with national scope such as major coffee chains, she added.

Nufable said they also plan to organize local coffee growers into a federation to lower accreditation expenses.

At present, the DTI-Negros Occidental is conducting a series of entrepreneurship trainings among ISF farmers’ associations that are into coffee production.

Participants include the San Agustin ISF Farmers’ Association in Barangay Mansablay, Isabela and Cabacungan ISF Farmer’s Association in Barangay Cabacungan, La Castellana as well as five other associations in Silay City, Victorias City, Sipalay City, Murcia, and Hinoba-an.

Nufable said the local coffee growers should have the entrepreneurial mindset to increase their income.

They need to develop a sense of looking at the whole value chain to become successful agripreneurs, the DTI official added. PNA/northboundasia.com