PH ‘Salad Bowl’ hopes to earn coffee-producer status, too


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Aside from its identity as the rose capital of the north, the salad bowl of the country, and the strawberry capital, this capital town of Benguet hopes to be also known as a coffee producer and primary supplier of quality Arabica coffee in the country.

In attaining this goal, the town will hold the first Coffee Festival on February 27 to 28.

In 2017, the local legislative body passed Ordinance No. 5-2017, institutionalizing the celebration of the coffee festival in La Trinidad, one of the 13 municipalities of the province.

Municipal Tourism Officer Valdred Olsim said the town’s activities for this year, as outlined in the ordinance, include a coffee summit, a harvest festival, agro-industrial and commercial trade fairs, and barista training.

Records of the Municipal Agriculture Office shows the town produced 17,267 metric tons of Arabica coffee beans variety from an estimated 4,500 trees in 2015.

“Coffee is a part of our culture, and it is one of our vital industry,” said Felicitas Ticbaen, the Municipal Agriculture Officer.

Department of Trade and Industry Cordillera (DTI-Cordillera) Regional Director Myrna Pablo earlier said productivity and efficiency, quality improvement, product and market development, investment promotion, and creation of enabling business environment are among the challenges that the local coffee industry has to face.

The Ordinance passed in 2017 was aimed at linking coffee producers, buyers, and consumers in one activity, encouraging one another to contribute significant efforts in improving local coffee production in the municipality, while creating an avenue for economic development through tourism.

It will also be a source of inspiration to encourage locals to produce coffee beans.

“[it will] infuse in the constituents the inspiration to plant coffee as a means of protecting the environment and providing that opportunity for someone’s economic improvement,” the ordinance said.

“It will also create an avenue for economic development in terms of tourism and commerce,” Councilors Roderick Awingan and Arthur Shontogan, who authored the ordinance, earlier said.