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Coffee etc
Mining & Veg. Farming
Wednesday, 7 September 2005
Coffee Aficcionados Anyone?
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Coffee etc
Coffee drinkers club, anyone?

IF SOCIAL clubs can have afternoon tea parties and other groups like Alcoholic Anonymous, and the Big FM Breakfast Team can do their craft in between sips of good coffee, then why can't anybody form a coffee drinker's club? Besides, hot coffee brew is a most welcome drink especially during the cool months.

Baguio was once known for its cafeterias and restaurants that served good native coffee to customers but because of changes in eating habits and new developments in the food distribution business, only a few landmark coffee shops remains.

A Baguio boy and a coffee aficionado himself, Art Tibaldo, a multimedia artist is toying with the idea of inviting those interested to form a club that is purely for the appreciation of the local drink. This concept stemmed when Tibaldo, who is the media specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office, observed that the aroma and taste of local coffee is at par with the coffee varieties coming from Brazil, Columbia and other parts of Latin America.

According to him, the Arabica variety grows well in Benguet and elsewhere in the Cordilleras, and when it is mixed with Robusta or other lowland varieties, it can offer a distinct taste that beats the flavor of internationally acclaimed brews.

While in Sagada early this year, Tibaldo observed that the Pidilisan coffee served to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her entourage became an instant hit when they visited the upland town.

He explained that the club's objective is not to create a formal organization that follows certain rules. There will not even be officers or membership dues so that those who would come and join will enjoy coffee as friends, Tibaldo added. It will not even compete with coffee shops because the members themselves are the ones that will grind and brew their drink at a designated area. The proponent also said that the cost of the drink will definitely be lower, especially if the host won't charge payment for the electric consumption of the percolator or coffeemaker.

Roasted coffee varieties may be ground on the spot by a handy blender to achieve its best aroma and to achieve a personalized flavor.

Other than drinking coffee, Tibaldo said that the club can be a venue for healthy discussions or fora of any topic under the sun without a moderator or a leader. Coffee growers may also join to give samples and promote their products.

He has written articles about coffee in support to the Cordillera's "One Town-One Product" or OTOP wherein coffee is chosen as a model product representing the region.

The positive response by media to the Kalinga coffee served in one Kapihan sa Baguio forum also proved that Cordilleras native coffee is not by far world-class as an organic drink.

Just like any other growing civic clubs wherein a member volunteers to host a meeting at a given period of time, the Coffee Drinker's Club may meet once or twice a week until such time that a regular schedule is fixed. Interested individuals may call Art Tibaldo at the DTI regional office at Nos. 442-8634 or sign up at the SOSCFI Center at the 3rd Floor of the Porta Vaga Building along Session Road. A notice of the Coffee Drinkers Club's activities may also be posted at the SOSCFI Center or be announced in local broadcast media. (CNA)

Posted by cna-tv at 12:44 PM JST
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Wednesday, 24 August 2005
Published article written by Desiree Caluza
Topic: Mining & Veg. Farming
Study says veggie trade, mining top job givers

First posted 11:20pm (Mla time) Aug 04, 2005
By Desiree Caluza
Inquirer News Service

Editor's Note: Published on Page A20 of the August 5, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
BAGUIO CITY—Benguet’s mining and vegetable industries would remain the most important job generators in the province, a study conducted by an environment advocate here said.
In her study, Baboo Mondo?edo, an environmentalist and one of the founders of the Cordillera News Agency, however noted that all industry stakeholders must also consider the environmental impact of development on these sectors.
Mondo?edo presented the study [“Case study on vegetable and mining industries in Benguet: Its impact on poverty, environment and globalization”] to local officials last week in preparation for the national report on the government’s medium-term development goals.
She said agriculture comprised more than 50 percent of the total employment in the Cordillera. Vegetable farming employs 140,000 people, most of them in Benguet.
Still, she noted that the vegetable industry continues to encounter problems such as the high cost of production, unstable market, layers of middlemen, declining soil productivity, lack of infrastructure, stiff global competition and the lack of support from the government.
During a recent regional development council meeting, Mt. Province Gov. Maximo Dalog said the growth of agriculture, which employs half of Cordillera residents, “has been rather slow.”
Dalog, the RDC chair, said that when the Cordillera Administrative Region was created in 1987, agriculture had a gross output of P2.6 billion. However, it grossed only P3.5 billion in 2003.
These figures suggested that the Cordillera, a major source of Metro Manila’s salad vegetables, contributed the least to national agricultural growth, Dalog said.
Mondo?edo’s study said there is a prevailing negative public perception on large-scale mining and entry of foreign investors.
She said other problems encountered by the mining industry are “the degradation of the environment, lack of social responsibility, absence of discernable positive effect on local development and the loopholes on the free, prior and inform consent (FPIC) process.”
The study promoted small-scale mining but recommended its regulation.
Some local officials saw the potential of small-scale mining as an alternative industry and a family enterprise.
“Before the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was signed [in the 1990s], Itogon was thinking of turning to vegetable growing if [large-scale mining stops]. But with the problem on importation and GATT, there is no way that our town can go into vegetable farming. We found an alternative; we found that small-scale mining will go a long way,” said Mayor Mario Godio of Itogon, Benguet.

Posted by cna-tv at 8:13 PM JST
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