BARMM ranks top 7 in PCQC Arabica Category, making it to the country’s best brew

In a remarkable achievement for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the coffee products of St. Mary’s of Downtown Farmers Organization made it to the country’s best brew with Mr. Rogelio Balacuit – ranked Top 7 in the prestigious Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) Arabica Category during the Philippine Coffee Expo 2023 last June 2-4, at World Trade Center, Pasay City.

The Saint Mary of Downtown (SMD) Farmers Organization is one of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform – Philippine Rural Development Project supported coffee Proponent Groups who are distinguished producers and consolidators of Arabica Green Coffee Beans (GCB) of the Catimor variety.

The achievement of the SMD Farmers Organization not only brings glory to the BARMM but also highlights the region’s potential to produce world-class coffee. It is a testament to the hard work, passion, and expertise of the dedicated farmers and the region’s ability to make top-quality Arabica beans that rival renowned coffee-growing areas worldwide.

The Philippine Coffee Expo 2023 catalyzes the growth, promotion, and recognition of the Philippine coffee industry in the country.

Mary Saint Ganih, SMD chairwoman, shared that the Philippine Coffee Expo (PCE) event was one of her memorable experiences. They not only made new clients but also learned a lot about the possibilities of their Arabica coffee.

“We learned a lot from the PCE. We saw a high demand for arabica coffee, and we were also able to meet with different clients,” said Ganih. “We really have to encourage our farmers to plant more coffee because, for me, it’s true that coffee is gold because it can help improve their livelihood.”

Meanwhile, Joining SMD from the BARMM region is the Kankitap Consumers Cooperative (KCC), an organization focused on showcasing the unique Sulu coffee as a symbol of hope and peace in the region. KCC, consisting of 75 members, serves as a producer and processor of Ground Sulu Robusta, a single-origin coffee varietal grown exclusively by the Tausug people of the Sulu Archipelago.

As the founding Chair of the Federation of Sulu Coffee Industry Cooperatives (FSCIC), KCC plays a pivotal role in promoting the Sulu coffee brand, known as Qahwa Sug (Coffee from Sulu), derived from the Arabic term “Qahwa,” meaning coffee.

By supporting their organization, the coffee farmers continue contributing to the economic growth and development of the BARMM. This organization’s success inspires other coffee farmers and highlights the region’s vast potential to become a major player in the coffee market.