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Auction Coming for Philippine Coffee Quality Competition Arabicas and Robustas

PCQC coffee competition

Representatives from ACDI/VOCA, PhilCAFE, the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, farmer cooperatives and other PCQC winners gathered last month. Courtesy photo.

Twenty-two microlots of specialty arabica and fine robusta coffees have emerged as winners of the annual Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC).

All the winning lots were celebrated at a March 18 ceremony and will be heading to an online auction taking place Saturday, April 23.

The top arabica microlot in this year’s auction came from producer organization Balutakay (BACOFA), located in Davao del Sur. The natural-process Catimor-variety coffee by farmer Marifel Dela Cern scored 84.79, according to the PCQC organizers.

In the fine robusta category, producer Mabini C. Ubuan from Sigay in the Ilocos Sur province in the northern region won with a coffee scoring 84.41.

All coffees were assessed using the Coffee Quality Institute‘s international standards and protocols for grading and assessment.

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Taking place annually since 2017, the PCQC receives funding through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through implementing agency ACDI/VOCA’s Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project. The other primary organizing partners are the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia (BCAA), the Philippine Coffee Guild (PCG) and the Philippine national departments of agriculture and trade.

“We saw a continuing improvement in coffee quality this year,” TJ Ryan, chief of party of PhilCAFE, said in an announcement shared with DCN. “It shows us that an event like PCQC serves as a valuable source of professional feedback for producers who are able to learn from it and improve going forward.”

Overall coffee production in the Philippines has remained relatively stable over the past five years or so, at around 450,000 60-kilo bags and total production nearly matching that of countries such as Laos, Venezuela and El Salvador, according to the USDA’s most recent statistics.

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The PCQC has been designed to reach potential buyers in international markets, while raising the profiles of producers domestically. Last year’s top-scoring coffees in the arabica and fine robusta categories fetched $52.50 and $18 per kilo, respectively, at the PCQC auction.

Interestingly, more than half of the winning microlots in the 2022 competition were produced by women, including 22-year-old Eljean V. Dagohoy from Pigtauranan, Bukidnon, who became the competition’s youngest-ever winner.

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