CQI has supported coffee professionals throughout the Philippine coffee value chain since 2016 through numerous strategic trainings, capacity building, industry events and market linkage development. Engaging with key partner ACDI/VOCA, CQI has supported the USDA-funded Mindanao Productivity in Agricultural Commerce and Trade (MinPACT) project from 2016 to 2018, and the USDA-funded Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project from 2019 to 2023 to improve coffee quality, increase high-value coffee trade, and in doing so, improve the livelihoods of coffee producers and communities.
Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) Project
CQI is a key consortium member of the PhilCAFE project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, and has been implementing activities since 2019. PhilCAFE builds on the success of the MinPACT project and capitalizes on the consortium’s extensive network and experience in the coffee industry and in the Philippines. PhilCAFE is an investment in the coffee sector that leverages private and public capital to put the National Coffee Roadmap into action. The project empowers legacy institutions such as the Philippines Coffee Council, state universities and colleges, private universities, and industry actors to support the sustained development of the coffee sector.
Under this project, CQI brings international experts directly to Philippine coffee professionals to promote state of the art coffee practices and standards and provide guidance on coffee training and technical materials. This includes national coffee sector development, quality standards, cupping trainings, and production/post-harvest best practices to establish a more competitive, high quality coffee value chain in the Philippines.
Quality Evaluation and Cupper Training
Delivered four Q Courses (robusta and arabica), five Q Calibration courses, and seven introductory classes in coffee sensory evaluation under the PhilCAFE project. In total, CQI will train nearly 200 students at varying degrees of coffee sensory evaluation education by the end of 2022, with additional courses planned throughout 2023.
Overall, Philippine Q Graders serve a very important role in enabling high quality coffee production in The Philippines. These Q Graders represent all parts of the value chain from producers and processors to quality control, product development, roasters, and traders.
Delivered two Q Processing Arabica Courses to 35 students and additional Q Processing courses are planned for the final year of implementation. These student-producers are now able to develop different coffee flavor profiles through processing techniques learned in this training. Robusta processing skills will be the focus of the final year of the program.
Provided support to the Philippine Coffee Guild (PCG) to develop effective coffee sector governance structure through targeted research as well as facilitating key stakeholder meetings.
Delivered two two-day, beginner-level Coffee Roasting Classes designed to provide basic coffee roasting knowledge to coffee professionals with little or no formal training in coffee roasting. Additional Roasting Classes are planned for 2023.
Quickly adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, CQI supported the PhilCAFE project in developing several online training resources for members of the coffee community to continue to learn and develop key skills throughout the pandemic.
Led private-sector stakeholder interviews and surveys to inform PhilCAFE implementation strategy.
Provided annual support for the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) planning and implementation, including recruitment of international coffee experts and Q Graders to serve on the panel of judges. CQI will continue to support PCQC in 2023.
Supported PhilCAFE at key trade events, including promotion on trade show floors as well as curated cupping events for a targeted list of international buyers and trend spotters. CQI will continue to support PhilCAFE at key trade events in 2023.
Mindanao Productivity in Agricultural Commerce and Trade (MinPACT) Project
From 2016 – 2018, CQI worked with ACDI/VOCA to implement the MinPACT project. Funded by USDA, the MinPACT project sought to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers of coffee, cocoa, and coconut throughout Southern and Western Mindanao, Philippines by strengthening farmers’ capacity for improved farm management, productivity, quality, and access to services and markets.
CQI supported the project by implementing trainings and capacity building events and forging key market linkages to improve the quality of arabica and robusta coffee grown and support the growth and development of an inclusive specialty coffee sector in the Philippines. CQI activities included association development, coffee standards, lab development, production and processing trainings, and extensive cupper and Q Grader training.
Quality Evaluation and Cupper Training
CQI training in quality evaluation reached diverse coffee sector actors including coffee laboratories, schools, government agencies, trade associations, social organizations, producers and producer groups, roasters, retailers, import and export trade. CQI’s training schedule included over 19 cupping courses during the three years of implementation. At the conclusion of the project, 220 individuals received training with 146 ultimately taking CQI’s rigorous Q Course. These Q Graders continue to represent quality production and standards across sectors and provide producers with feedback to trade their product on cup quality and value.
Delivered a Train-the-Trainer event on specialty coffee post-harvest processing. This training included quality production, post-harvest processing best practices, processing practicum (washed, semi-washed and sundried natural), and standard equipment facilities (pulping, milling, grading).
Worked with the Philippine Coffee Board (PCBi) to refine the organization’s purpose, mission, vision, and draft a strategic plan for the organization.
Delivered a variety of roasting and quality control trainings which targeted coffee roasters and coffee shops in Davao and Manila. These trainings focusing on coffee roasting best practices, with the goal of improving the quality of local roasted coffee markets.
Built content for training manuals and bulletins as well as delivering train-the-trainer activities. CQI contributed to MinPACT’s technical manual, “Arabica Coffee: Good Agricultural Practices in Arabica Coffee Production and Post-Harvest Handling”, which is being used by Philippine coffee producers.
Developed and supported an annual quality-focused national coffee competition – the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC). CQI assisted with codifying PCQC rules and regulations and deployed annual volunteers to serve as international judges. Recruited and trained local Q Graders to screen samples as well as work with and learn from the international judges.
Support at trade events. Promotion on the show floor as well as curated cupping events for a targeted list of international buyers and trend spotters.