The Great Women of ASEAN

 

UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF UPS AND USAID-ACTI, FIVE COUNTRIES IN THE ASEAN SENT THEIR BEST WOMEN COFFEE ENTREPRENEURS—farmers, processors and retailers—to visit various coffee destinations in Cavite and in Makati City.

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The women visited the National Coffee Research Center in Indang, Cavite to see new technologies and the vast collection of coffee varieties the University has in its collection. They were hosted by coffee expert Dr. Alejandro “Andy” Mojica,  director and CVSU’s coffee research specialist, and Dr. Ruel Mojica, head of the Research Center.

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“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Serina Somsivat Hervy says after seeingred ripe fruits or cherries of the Barako and Excelsa trees. The Philippines is proud to grow all four varieties of coffee: Robusta, Excelsa, Arabica and Liberica (Barako) while their countries only produce Arabica and Robusta.

The ladies from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand also had a cupping session with Q grader Robert Francisco at his Sancoco Café. “Your coffee reminds me of guava” Francisco tells one participant. “There are also notes of citrus in this coffee,“ he tells another. “I’m so happy my coffee is sweet,” says Nanda Pok as she prepares to share the wonderful news with the indigenous people who grow the coffee in her country.

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The other event planned for the group was latte art by Vanessa Caceres who flew from Singapore to teach the ladies her trade secrets. Done at the new Commune Café, Vanessa entertained the ladies with her mastery of the pouring steamed milk to make flowers and other patterns in their latte.

Sharing coffee expertise and collaborating for Great Women Coffee will be profitable for all the ASEAN countries. They will soon come up with a collection of specialty coffees from different women coffee producers in the ASEAN and will be under one umbrella brand called GREAT WOMEN.

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In the ASEAN milieu, there exists a network called ASEAN Women Entrepreneur Network (AWEN) to provide an exchange mechanism for women entrepreneurs. These interactions, like training on best practices and trade exchange, will soon be more active as the Philippines become the incoming Chair for the network.

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