SBM Manotoc eyes “kapeng Ilocano” through local partnership

LAOAG CITY – Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc has announced an upcoming partnership between the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) through the Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) and a Philippine coffee development company to revitalize the province’s coffee industry.

Hindi lang ito plantation,” Manotoc clarified early this month. The group would aid “All the way from plantation hanggang processing, hanggang sa finished product, hanggang retail – kahit coffee shop,” he added, saying that previous coffee projects have not been as successful and sustainable as desired.

He hopes that the new llocos Norte coffee would be more “wide-ranging, yung pwedeng katapat ng three-in-one (3-in-1), at pwedeng pang-coffee shop for all levels.

Kasi alam ko rin na yung 3-in-1 ay hindi healthy – maraming asukal at may fake creamer, so sana ma-limit natin yung consumption ng 3-in-1, and at the same time ay mabigyan natin ng livelihood ang mga coffee farmers. We can be proud to have an Ilocano coffee.”

According to Manotoc, finalization of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) is under way but implementation will take a few more years. “Hindi ito overnight process – magtatanim ka pa; maghihintay ka. I think the soonest we can have our home-grown coffee is mga two years pa.

He shared the positive outlook of the group after an ocular visit in Pagudpud, having assessed the climate and soil conditions.

The partnership will be involving a farmers’ cooperative with close coordination with the ENRO.

“Hopefully, this will give them [coffee farmers] a reason to expand,” said Manotoc. “We can have kapeng Ilocano.” (PR – PGIN CMO)