Did you know that the Philippines is the biggest coffee importer in the world? A huge P12-billion worth a year, according to Juliet Lucas, Regional Coffee Industry Cluster Coordinator based in Bontoc, Mountain province. We met Ms. Lucas at the Media Preview of exhibitors who will participate in the May 19-21, 2017 IFEX or International Food Expo that will be held at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasayy City.
She revealed that the annual consumption of coffee in the Philippines is the equivalent of 4,775,000 60-kg coffee beans. And because only 7% of the coffee beans consumed is produced in the Philippines, which is equivalent to 475,000 60-kg beans, we have to import the big bulk for local consumption. The main suppliers are Vietnam for coffee beans, and Indonesia for ready-to-drink soluble coffee (like 3-in-1 Kopiko) and coffee extracts for industrial processing like those used in making candies.The statistics, according to Ms. Lucas, is from the US Department of Agriculture.
At the IFEX Media Preview held on May 5, 2017 at the Golden Shell Pavilion of the Philippine Trade Training Center, Ms. Lucas showcased Arabica coffee products from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).