Benguet Arabica coffee listed among 'endangered' food products
MANILA, Philippines – As its number of trees dwindles, the coffee variety Benguet Arabica has been included in an international food listing meant to protect "endangered" and nearly extinct products.
The coffee variety made its way to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, a program that raises awareness about small-scale food productions and then urges people to protect them by either consuming them or helping their producers.
“We’re happy to find new markets for coffee just like for the Barako. With Benguet Arabica being listed in the Ark of Taste, international advocates will surely want to taste this,” said Pacita Juan, chairperson of the Philippine Coffee Board.
“This [program] can be supported by coffee drinkers who will be conscious to drink more Benguet coffee to keep the farmers sustainable,” she added.
PCB is a private sector-led group created in 2002, which is responsible for developing the country's coffee industry and promoting it in local and international markets.
With renewed interest in Benguet Arabica, Juan said farmers would be able to double their income – from the farmgate price of P120 per kilo to P250.
“Hopefully [farmers will] continue to propagate and plant this endangered kind. If all the produce will be sold to specialty markets, farmers can reach a potential income of P200 million,” Juan said. – Rappler.com