Wanted: Filipino game changers
Updated: Dec 6, 2018
MORE than a hundred years ago, water and coffee changed because of one thing: a bottle.
The modern bottled water borrows the idea from Hiram Ricker, whose family founded the town of Poland Springs, Maine, from water, literature revealed. The bottled coffee bought off shelves and from a local café is traced by an Economist article to Scottish company Paterson & Sons in Glasgow in 1876. These are innovations that not only brought life into town, in the case of the Ricker family, but created an industry and altered consumption patterns worldwide.
For Crispin Muyrong Jr. of Sunlight Foods Corp., innovation in water management not only grew the family business, but also ensured the supply of a water-sensitive resource: ube (purple yam).
For Vie Reyes of Bote Central Inc., innovation in how coffee is roasted helps farmers see their income grow.
Both companies are finalists in the Benita and Catalino Yap Foundation (BCYF) Innovation Awards (BIA).
“As far the award is concerned, we are focusing on government services, education, small and medium enterprise and agri-business,” BCYF Chairman Antonio S. Yap. “What we are trying to recognize are all ‘successful attempts’ in the last five years who have attempted to do things a little better.”
Alvira Reyes, CEO of Bote Central, said they developed the Rearden Roaster coffee-roasting machine to help coffee farmers improve their income.
The Rearden Roaster is a 2-kilo batch roaster machine capable of roasting different kinds of beans from moisture levels of the coffee bean between 11 percent and 18 percent.
“It can come out with a consistent quality whether they are small or big,” she explained.
Reyes said she and her husband Carlos Basilio said it is time for coffee farmers to get a bigger share and roasting will play an important role.
“Roasting is part of the processing supply that transform the green beans to roasted coffee,” she said. “It [roasting] is the most important thing in the value chain of coffee.”
Reyes lamented that the technology is not available to a significant number of coffee farmers in the country.
“Our plan is to produce more coffee-roasting machines all over the country and all over the world, because we believe coffee farmers have the same plight all over the world,” Reyes said. “They are the most exploited and earn the least.”
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