SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Robusta coffee grown by farmer Rodolfo Aciong of Quirino town in Ilocos Sur was hailed as the best quality coffee of its kind during the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference in Baguio City last March 21.
Aciong’s Robusta coffee, which is made from the Coffea canephora plant, got the collective nod of the jury who tasted the brew and gave it the highest score of 85.96 percent, while other coffee growers from the province made it to the finalists’ category.
According to Joyce Segui-Sabado, information officer of the regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry, the coffee competition aims to strengthen the country’s coffee industry, and a way for Philippine “specialty coffee” to be recognized in the global market and profile or outline protocol or system of rules and standards of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).
Other Ilocos Sur entries who won in the competition are: 3rd place, Luz Dalapuz from Gregorio Del Pilar; 6th place, Ramon Polipol from Sugpon; and 12th place, Estela Salay from Salcedo.
A member of the jury, Mr. Shaun Ong of Singapore, said that the high-quality coffee in the recently-concluded competition was a proof of the improving coffee quality in the country, and competition can help producers realize that there is a market for quality coffee.
Meanwhile, the coffee entry of Oliver Oliem from Atok, Benguet won first place in the Arabica category. Arabica coffee has a stronger and bitter taste as compared to Robusta coffee
The Baguio coffee competition is categorized into two different types: Robusta and Arabica, with 106 entries nationwide, nine of which came from the Ilocos Region.
The event was co-organized by the DTI, Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), was one of the highlights of the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference. Erwin Beleo/Northbound Philippines News