MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines may well become a net coffee exporter in more a decade's time as the Philippine Coffee Board Inc (PCB) works on strengthening the country's coffee industry.
"We are presently working together with the National Competitiveness Council to draft a roadmap so we can be competitive in coffee again," PCB chair Nicholas Matti said.
"If we join hands in addressing the challenge, the Philippines can become a net exporter again maybe in about 10 to 15 years," he added.
Currently, local traders and manufacturers import an average of 75,000 metric tons (MT) of coffee beans annually, amounting to P5-7 billion, Matti said.
The imported coffee, he pointed out, closes the wide gap between production and demand as coffee farms in the Philippines, especially in Cavite and Batangas, have been developed into residential and commercial spaces.
The PCB expects year-end local demand for coffee to reach more than 100,000 MT from last year's 75,000 MT as demand for instant coffee surge due to the rise of the 24/7 workforce or those in call centers and back offices.