The local coffee industry has been implementing programs to improve itself, the latest of which is capacitating stakeholders on how to grade their products.
Last week, the Philippine Coffee Advancement Institute (PhilCAFE) hosted the awarding for new licensed coffee graders, called Q Graders, who were among those who undertook training on the Q Grader Coffee System.
“This (training is to improve the quality of coffee. This project has helped a lot in the coffee industry”, said Gina Ellorango, licensed grader and chief executive officer of Frog Kaffee Davao.
Ellorango said there is a need to improve the quality of the produce, both in helping the farmers improve their technology as well as train the consumers to become discriminate to provide better value to the product.
She added that when the product is appreciated, more coffee enthusiasts will help the industry grow and will result in the increasing demand for quality coffee.
Another component of the project is to help farmers not only to increase their production, but also to improve their technics not only in farming, but also in post-harvest handling.
The project is in coordination with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a body that provides a grading mechanism on appreciating coffee. “This is to improve the quality of coffee. This project has helped a lot in the coffee industry”, said Gina Ellorango, A licensed QA and QR Grader and Chief Executive Officer of FROG KAFFEE Davao.
Based on the CQI system, a Q grader is someone it has accredited, like Ellorango, who passed trainings and have become experts in the field.
Q Graders must pass 22 tests based on the standards that were based on the protocols that the Specialty Coffee Association of America has developed.
Among those who were awarded were Reyno B. Almonia, Daniel Byron Pantoja, Andrew Boyles Melencion, Regie D. Patagoe, Leslie Aranilla, Joven Quiriones, Art Hermoso, Joefel Manlod, Edralyn Catubay, Kirk Jay A. Khan, Life Secuya, Rey N. Palabon, Arnel Cadelina, Raul Roque and Dave Fredeluas.
Also present during the event was Dr. Tina Yerkes, chief executive officer Of the United States-based CQI.
PhilCAFE is also being supported by Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers and Overseas Cooperative Assistance.