The largest coffee plantation in the Philippines is located in a mountainous region near the town of Alcoy south of Cebu City about 700 meters above sea level. Coffee plants thrive in the area’s relatively stable climate with ample rainfall.
Philippines Robusta Coffee Production
Robusta plantation are located in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Sultan Kudarat, Bataan, Bohol, Cebu, Compostela Valley and Palawan and various other regions. The Nestle Company buys a large percentage of the harvest.
Also see: The Top Ten Coffees in the World
Philippines Arabica Coffee Production
About five percent of coffee production in the Philippines is the higher grade Arabica coffee which is known as Kapeng Tagalog while seven percent is the Excelsa varietal which is resistant to drought.
About three percent of Philippine coffee is the Liberica Coffee varietal and known as Kapeng Barako, favored for its ability to grow in a variety of soil types.
History of Philippine Coffee
Coffee was first brought to the Philippines by a Franciscan friar in 1749 and grew into a thriving industry. The coffee rust disease decimated crops at the end of the nineteenth century.
Toward the end of the era of Spanish colonization the Philippines was a top coffee exporter but the coffee trade languished due to lack of support from the government, urbanization and other factors including previous global declines in coffee prices.
Philippino Coffee Cultivation
The current high worldwide prices for coffee are helping to incentivize increased coffee production in the Philippines. In 1989 around 130,000 hectares in the country were being cultivated in coffee but by 2006 the acreage was just 75,000 hectares.
Today coffee is a very popular beverage among the Filipino population. Starbucks now has an increasing presence in the country with many cafes in Manila and other locations.
The Philippines Agricultural Department has been involved in loan assistance programs and distribution of planting materials, small farm equipment, coffee production facilities and farmer training in an effort to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the country’s coffee crop and revitalize the country’s coffee industry.
According to reports in March 2017, the Philippine government is targeting an output of almost 215,000 metric tons of green by 2022 to remove the reliance of imports, and begin exporting more to other countries. That would total approximately 3,500,000 x 60kg bags.
According to the ICO, the total crop production in 2015 was just 208,000 bags, meaning the target represents a growth of approximately 18x in 6 years. This differs from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that reported coffee production at 36,000,000 tons (600,000 x 60kg bags) – roughly 3 times higher than ICO.
To accomplish this, they’re looking to increase yield to 1000 kg per hectare (roughly 4x increase) and expand coffee plantations from 125,000 hectares to 200,000 hectares (roughly 1.6x increase). It will see the formation of the Philippine Coffee Council (PCC), funds/credit/insurance for growers, and create new seedling/nurseries, and training programs to help farmers increase their yield-per-acre.
These aggressive goals coupled with a focus on national interest to end imports means that the Robusta production will likely see a large increase, with a lower focus on Arabica for exports to other countries.
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Green Coffee Production60kg bags
2016: 200,000 = 26,400,000 lbs
2015: 208,073 = 27,465,583 lbs
2014: 193,214 = 25,504,274 lbs
2013: 185,682 = 24,510,024 lbs
2012: 177,462 = 23,424,931 lbs
Green Coffee Exports60kg bags
2016: 0 = 0 lbs
2015: 8,070 = 1,065,240 lbs
2014: 18,210 = 2,403,720 lbs
2013: 10,680 = 1,409,760 lbs
2012: 2,460 = 324,720 lbs
Data may not be available for the most recent year.