The PCBI and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) mounted the first local coffee cupping competition to further prepare farmers for bigger contests.
The journey started last year in Ifugao when PCBI consultant Robert Francisco and PEF program manager Bong Soto trekked to Asipulo, Ifugao to announce the rules.
It was important to announce the contest way before harvest time so coffee farmers could pick the best fruits, process them well, then prepare them for cupping. This was in November 2018.
Last March, farmers sent their coffee samples to PCBI and these were cupped and graded by PCBI/CQI-trained Q graders Mario Macalalad, Bea Belardo, and Jen Rimando under Robert Francisco’s management. PCBI received 21 samples and out of these, 17 made the grade.
The awarding ceremonies will be held this April, in time with the festivities in the town of Asipulo.
PEF has generously prepared cash prizes and tokens to entice the farmers to continue the practice for the coming harvest season. This will make Ifugao coffee known as a specialty grade and could fetch higher prices for the farmers’ efforts.