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Bloom 2017 Crop of the Year Competition launched in Benguet

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By J.J. Landingin

The Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE) has slated its first major effort in February, 2017 and will bring together 10 coffee farming families from La Trinidad, Benguet, in a competition that could raise the value of their beans by almost double its original price.

Benguet Map (Photo courtesy of Google Map)

Benguet Map (Photo courtesy of Google Map)

The event, dubbed as “Bloom 2017 Crop of the Year Competition,” was formally opened last week together with the launch of FSCE.

Highlighting last week’s launch was the announcement of the various programs that FSCE will be undertaking in the area starting next year. In addition, a teaser contest where seven farming families competed in a cupping session and best booth contest is also held. The grand prize for the said contest is P100,000.

“We are opening this competition to all coffee farmers who are members of the La Trinidad Arabica Coffee Producers Association,” explained Harris Lim. “This effort is part of Beans Within Reach, which aims to link farmers with sellers, in an effort to ensure that farmers get paid premium for their hard work.”

Farmers will compete for the bronze, silver, and gold awards in the upcoming competition in February.

Simply put, if a farmer wins any of the said awards, his coffee will be auctioned off to coffee selling companies on a per kilo basis. Once a bidder wins, the earlier will have to dedicate his land to producing coffee for the latter for one whole year, following certain terms and conditions, with the bidder buying the farmer’s coffee on the agreed on price set during the auction.

The winners will be decided through a series of cupping sessions. However, a 9-12% moisture content is required for beans to be entered into the competition.

Joining the kickstarter event, which is held at La Trinidad, Benguet Basketball Gym, are companies who have agreed to join the auction, including Toby’s Estate, Figaro Coffee, Bo’s Coffee and 711 Philippines.

In addition to the gold, silver and bronze awards, the competition will also recognize the creativity of farmers, with a best booth award. Whoever wins this award will get P100,000.

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