Bo’s Coffee plans to buy coffee beans from Tuburan

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita June 05,2016 - 09:53 PM

OFFICIALS of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7) are optimistic of the chances of coffee farmers in Tuburan town in midwestern Cebu of having a local coffee shop chain as the buyer of their coffee beans produce.

This developed after a representative of Bo’s Coffee told the Economic Development Committee (EDC) of the RDC last Wednesday that they were interested in supporting the Tuburan coffee farmers.

Michelle Lim, Bo’s Coffee creative director and brand head, told the EDC during yesterday’s meeting that they are willing to support and look into the coffee farms in Tuburan and possibly buy their produce.

Ruth Cruz, EDC secretary, said she was excited with the offer because the government has been implementing the Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) in Tuburan town with the coffee farmers as its beneficiaries.

“We started the ASAPP (in Tuburan) in April 2015; the objective was to reduce poverty in this poor community by leading their production to market. This is a perfect opportunity because we now know there is demand (for coffee),” Cruz told Cebu Daily News.

Cruz, of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 7, is the team leader and technical staff assigned to the coffee farmers in Tuburan, which is one of the pilot areas of the ASAPP.

She said that the coffee farmers have been growing and harvesting coffee beans for the past five years and yet they are still struggling to convert their harvest into revenues because of the lack of a regular and established buyer.

At one point, the farmers were technically supported by Nestle, but this ended because the firm had stringent requirements for the type of coffee they needed.

Cruz said that there are already between 700 and 900 coffee farmers in Tuburan who are tending to farms with a total area of around 2,000 hectares.

During their meetings with the farmers last April and May, Cruz said the main concern of the farmers now is how to translate their harvest into actual money.

Last June 1, several agencies such as NEDA, DENR and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the ASAPP, visited Kabangkalan, Tuburan to assess what they could do to help the farmers.

Bo’s Coffee also sent a team to check the area, said Lim.

“We are not very strict in terms of the processing because we work with micro farms which don’t have very strict components as long as they meet standard quality,” Lim said.

Bo’s, which is a Cebuano brand, will celebrate its 20th year on June 28.

Lim said among their thrusts aside from coffee is to support sustainability and community building.

She said that right now, they are sourcing 90 percent of their coffee beans from within the country, mostly from Sagada and Benguet.

Lim said that one of their goals is to source their coffee beans 100 percent from the country soon.

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TAGS: Bo's, Central Visayas, coffee, coffee bean, Regional Development Council

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