December 27, 2013
My Coffee Cup Runneth Over
Camp John Hay has always been proud that it has planted over 230,000 pine trees in and around Camp John Hay. But this time, we’ve added something to the Camp John Hay landscape that is helping not only the environment but farmers as well.
Last December 20 marked the launch of the Rocky Mountain coffee farm in partnership with Camp John Hay. This is a 60-hectare plantation where we are growing 75,000 coffee trees.
Pierre Yves Cote, president of Rocky Mountain Cafe, has noted that 60 hectares is in fact a small plantation if you compare this with coffee plantations in countries that are leading exporters of coffee such as Brazil, Indonesia or Vietnam, wherein the minimum size of a plantation would be at least a thousand hectares. But because of the location of Camp John Hay as a rest and recreation site visited not only by ordinary citizens but by movers and shakers across the nation, this coffee farm in Camp John Hay is fast becoming the showcase farm of Rocky Mountain Coffee in the Philippines.
Because of the model presented in the Camp John Hay farm, Palawan is now set to have its own coffee plantation of Rocky Mountain coffee that is a hundred times bigger than the plantation in Camp John Hay: 6,000 (yes, you read that right – six THOUSAND) hectares. In Ilocos Norte, Rocky Mountain will also be starting a 1,500-hectare farm.
Rocky Mountain is no ordinary coffee corporation. It is the first coffee corporation to plant 100% arabica beans in the country. Arabica beans are at the top tier of quality coffee beans. You will know this once you have a sip of this coffee that is smooth yet with a strong, fragrant aroma.
More than producing good beans, the greatest beneficiary of this endeavor are the farmers. In Camp John Hay alone, we have partnered with 160 farmers for this coffee plantation. But what is noteworthy is the business model being employed for the highland coffee. With the help of Land Bank, the farmers are able to purchase seeds to produce Rocky Mountain arabica coffee, grow this, and then Rocky Mountain purchases the beans from them. In other words, the farmers are empowered by being given help for their capitalization, equipped with better skills at planting coffee by expert growers of Rocky Mountain, then are guaranteed a sale by the corporation. All this without losing their land. Talk about a win-win situation!
I was told that the Philippines used to be one of the top three coffee exporting countries in the world. Hopefully, the Rocky Farm plantation will jumpstart another coffee revolution in the country. It’s time to wake up and smell the (arabica) coffee!
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One Comment on “My Coffee Cup Runneth Over”
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