By Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer North Luzon
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—Coffee consumption in the country has grown almost as fast as coffee production has fallen in recent years.
But fair trade, at least in upland communities where coffee beans grow best, appears to have remedied that imbalance.
By making sure that coffee farmers get the right share from retail profits for upland Arabica and Kalinga’s Robusta beans, traders believe coffee harvests will grow and fulfill a plan to create a Cordillera Coffee brand.
Fair trade was discussed here last week by Pacita Juan, chair of the Philippine Coffee Board, during the First Coffee Fiesta mounted by local producers.
Juan says upland farmers need to be treated well in business transactions because to do otherwise would drive them away from sustaining coffee trees “and will plant sayote or something.”