From soil to cup: Coffee farmers become barista-entrepreneurs
Coffee farmers in various communities across the country get the most out of their labor with the knowledge empowering them to process their own harvests to a cup of hot coffee.
Thanks to Bote Central Inc., a family-owned corporation that helps coffee farmers venture into agro-business right in their own village.
Bote Cental aims to provide farmers the capacity to grow, roast, and sell coffee by themselves.
“Coffee is a product that you can work with from soil to cup, which means a farmer need not become just a farmer, he can venture into the agro-business of coffee in his own village level, which means that a farmer is not just about sustainability for the environment but also sustainability for humanity itself,” Bote Central Inc CEO Vie Reyes said.
Through the help of the government, investors and various companies, Bote Cental has been able to set up facility for post-harvest equipment in their partner communities from Luzon to Mindanao.
The post-harvest facility is complete with equipment from depulping to roasting.
"The trigger point here is the roasting machine, Bote Central was awarded the invention patent for the roasting machine. This roasting machine serves as the impetus so that the farmers will be able to share the technology of what Bote Central started," she said.
The program enables coffee farmers to have a firsthand experience on how to efficiently process their harvests, creating a bigger and more sustainable market for them.
"Ayun napabilis yung aming pagpoproseso ng pagkakape, at tsaka nadagdagan pa ang kaalaman namin kung paano mapasarap pa lalo ang kape [Processing coffee beans is now quick and easy for us, and we also gained more knowledge on how to improve the taste of the coffee we serve]," Arnel Gonzales, a community barista of Cabuyao, Laguna, said.
"Hindi ako nangangamba ngayon na baka mawala ang market kasi itinuro na nga sa amin hanggang sa ma-process [Now, I am not worried that we might lose the market because we now know how to effectively process the coffee]," coffee farmer Eddie Casalme said.
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