SEED STATION: The coffee centre should become a major source of coffee seedlings across the country.
Nescafé has inaugurated a new coffee centre of excellence in the Philippines to improve the quality and quantity of the coffee crop in a country where demand for beans far outstrips supply.
The facility, in Batangas City in the central Philippines, was set up as a one-stop shop for coffee-growers in the region to give farmers access to the best of Nestlé’s coffee farming technology and training.
At present, the demand for coffee beans in the Philippines is not being met by locally-grown supply. In 2012, for example, local demand for coffee beans totalled more than 70,000 tonnes, while local production reached only 30,000.
Nestlé Philippines is the country’s biggest buyer of Robusta coffee beans and the centre will also secure its long-term supply of the crop.
“This is a significant milestone which underlines our continuing support of the Philippine coffee industry and our commitment to creating shared value for its various stakeholders, especially small-scale coffee farmers,” said Edith de Leon, Nestlé Philippines Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs.
The Nestlé Lipa Integrated Coffee Center, which opened in mid-July, is the second centre of its kind in the country.
It aims to help coffee farmers on the northern Luzon Island boost yields and comes the Nescafé brand celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Both the new Lipa coffee centre and the existing Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm, in Davao del Norte, in the southern Philippines, are an integral part of the Nescafé Plan.
The Plan, launched in 2010, is a global CHF 350 million initiative supporting sustainable coffee farming, production and consumption.
“Through the Nescafé Plan, we aim to reverse the decline in local coffee production and help the country achieve coffee self-sufficiency,” Ms de Leon said. “This opening represents the next big step in achieving this goal.”
The facility, some five-hectares in size, was created at a cost of CHF 500,000 (25 million Philippine pesos). It features a Robusta production nursery with a capacity to produce some 500,000 coffee seedlings, which will be distributed to growers at cost price.
The goal is that the centre will, over time, become a major source of coffee seedlings throughout the country with the capacity for as many as one million seedlings. It is estimated that some 3,500 farmers will receive coffee seedlings direct from the centre by 2020.
The facility also houses a buying station where farmers can sell their produce directly to Nestlé at a price in line with those offered on the global market, as well as a composting facility for organic fertiliser.
An estimated 3,300 farmers are expected to sell their green coffee beans annually at the centre’s buying station.