YAGAM COFFEE sourced out their green coffee beans from the communities where CGN implemented their agroforestry projects in Benguet and Mt. Province and also in areas which are not organized by any buyers or other companies because of its poor accessibility to the market.
Kibungan, officially the Municipality of Kibungan, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Benguet. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 17,292 people.
Many of the residents in Kibungan plants Sayote (Chayote) in the steep slopes in the mountains as main crops for their livelihood. Kibungan is the Cordillera Green Network(CGN)’s first Coffee Agroforestry Project site in 2006-2007. CGN planted around 6,000 arabica coffee seedlings in the Agroforestry system in partnership with the farmers’ association. The Local Government Unit of Kibungan is also supporting and promoting the coffee production and coffee is Kibungan’s OTOP (One Town One Product). Kibungan has Kibungan Arabica Coffee Growers Multipurpose Cooperative at Poblacion. CGN supports the small-scale farmers in other areas of Kibungan to conduct training to improve quality, strengthen the association, and provide materials for planting stocks and post-harvest refining materials.
Kapangan, officially the Municipality of Kapangan, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Benguet.
(Introduction of Kapangan)
In Kapangan Cordillera Green Network (CGN) has planted 8513 arabica coffee seedlings in 2010, 31,470 Arabica coffee seedlings in 2012-2014, and 7,200 seedlings in 2016. CGN also conducted the quality improvement seminars in 2016,2017 and 2019. CGN also provided post-harvest materials.
Tublay, officially the Municipality of Tublay, is a 5th class municipality in the province of Benguet. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 17,892 people.
The Local Government Unit(LGU) of Tublay set the coffee as OTOP and supports coffee production very much. LGU found the coffee Processing Center at Poblacion and served the coffee.
In Tublay, CGN started the Rehabilitation project of Typhoon Pepeng in 2010 with the support of Japanese NGO, WE21 Japan incorporation with LGU. Since then we have planted more than 65,000 coffee seedlings with farmers in different barangays. CGN also conducted seminars on environment conservation, organic farming, coffee quality improvement, farmers association management, and more.
Mankayan is one of the thirteen municipalities in Benguet Province, Philippines. At present, mining and agriculture are the major economic activities that the people of Mankayan are engaged in. But modern times still drive people to look for other sources of income. Sometimes it is not only for sustenance but also for subsistence.
In 1980s, coffee was first cultivated in Mankayan through the World War II veteran, Mr. Sote Baguitan. Mr. Baguitan was inspired by the coffee orchards he had seen in many of the places that he was deployed during the war. He planted coffee trees in their backyard and also integrated them into their vegetable garden. Mankayan is an ideal place to plant Arabica coffee trees because of its high elevation, which is up to 2,214 masl. The wet season is humid and the dry season is partly cloudy, and it is comfortable all year round. Throughout the year, the temperature typically varies from 15 ℃ to 25.5℃ and is rarely below 12℃ or above 27℃. The soil is also slightly acidic. Because of their favorable environmental condition, the Arabica coffee that the Baguitan family planted grew and bore good cherries.This was the start of coffee trees being planted in this community and planting widely spread in the nearby areas.
Even now, many old coffee trees that were planted back then are still growing in Mankayan. At present, the Baguitan family mainly sells Highland vegetables as a means of livelihood, but they decided to improve the quality of the coffee beans harvested from these old coffee trees and focus on selling them. So Belen Baguitan attended a coffee quality training session at the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry (IHFSA) of Benguet State University, organized by Cordillera Green Network(CGN), a Baguio-based environmental NGO.
The Baguitan family wanted to plant new coffee seedlings in the areas that are not suitable for vegetable cultivation, such as steep slopes, to avoid soil erosion and to protect water sources. In response to their enthusiasm, CGN, with the help of the Baguitan family, has undertaken a project in 2019 to teach them how to grow seedlings that are suited to the climate and soil of Mankayan.
La Trinidad, officially the Municipality of La Trinidad is a 1st class municipality and capital of the province of Benguet. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 129,133 people.
The municipality is known for its strawberry plantations.
Aside from backyard coffee plantations, some farmers have a wide coffee plantation in La Trinidad.
La Trinidad has a large vegetable wholesale market. La Trinidad also has coffee shops and markets where farmers can sell coffee. YAGAM COFFEE helps a few coffee farmers from La Trinidad in remote areas trade their good coffee at a proper price.
Barlig is a 5th class municipality in the province of Mountain Province. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 4,819 people.
Barlig conserves the beautiful tropical rainforest and wildlife.
To protect Barlig's ecosystem and biodiversity, CGN implemented an agroforestry coffee cultivation project in 2012 in the Kadaklan area at the foot of the Mt. Amyao, 3rd highest mountain in the Cordillera, distributing more than 22,000 seedlings to residents.
In 2017, CGN also organized a workshop on post-harvest processing of coffee. One of the farmers also participated in a training tour in East Timor.
The Municipality of Atok in Benguet has become widely known for its delicious coffee after winning the 2018 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC). Atok's elevation of 1,004 to 2,717 meters above sea level and its rainy climate are perfect conditions for growing good quality Arabica coffee.
Although many farmers are now new to coffee cultivation, many coffee trees were planted in Atok before that.
It is said that coffee cultivation started as far back as the Spanish colonial period. For a long time, the Typica, an Arabica variety, had been grown in the backyards of the Indigenous Peoples of Atok. These coffees were meant for family members and relatives to taste for themselves and sometimes to entertain guests.
It is said that many coffee seedlings were planted in Atok through the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlara (KKK) Project, which was implemented under the Marcos regime in 1981 to improve livelihoods in rural areas. The KKK was a financial assistance project through the LGU, and 1 million pesos were allocated for 100 farmers; that's 10,000 pesos per farmer. Many of the farmers used the allocation to buy coffee seedlings and fertilizers and planted them in the land that they had inherited from their ancestors. This means that many of the coffee trees in Atok today are almost 40 years old. Most of them are Red Bourbon and Caturra varieties.
Atok Coffee of Kapi Tako Social Enterprise is sourced out directly from the farmers in Proper, Caliking. A careful inspection is done by Kapi Tako staff to ensure that only quality coffee goes out to the market by ensuring that beans are well-dried and proper sorting is done by the farmers. Farmers are paid appropriately for their efforts.
Itogon, officially the Municipality of Itogon, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Benguet, Philippines.
According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 59,820 people. It is situated in the Southern end part of Benguet.
Its elevation ranges from 700m.A.S.L. in the central part and 2000m.A.S.L. in Mt. Ugo. Itogon used to be premier municipality because of mining.
People here are mostly Ibalois but due to mining works other tribes from Cordillera and in the lowlands flock in the municipality.
When mining corporations closed, others stayed and lives in the community and continued private mining, while others did agricultural works.
Due to the closing of mines, other farmers had time to focus in planting and maintaining coffee, thus, this makes Itogon coffee known in the coffee industry in the Philippines.
In higher elevation they grow Arabica while in lower elevation Robusta are visible.
Sablan, officially the Municipality of Sablan, it is a 5th class municipality in the province of Benguet.
According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 11,457 people. It is located in the mid-western tip of Benguet.
It is comprised with Ibalois, Kankanaeys, and Ifugaos. Its elevation is ranging 500 m.A.S.L. in the boundary of Sablan and La union to 1,200 m.A.S.L. in the boundary of La Trinidad and Baguio City.
The general climate is warm which makes it suitable for growing different kinds of fruits. Sablan was coined as the "fruit basket of Benguet".
With the warm climate it can grow 4 kinds of coffee (Arabica, Robusta, Exelsa, and Liberica). The Sablan Arabica coffee plantation emerged during the Spanish time.
They called the coffee as "Spanjol" and when time arrived it was known as the Typica.
During the 80's, the Araneta family introrduce Bourbon and other Arabica cultivars wherein farmers have acquired their new seeds for coffee plantation.
Camp 1 and Camp 3, Municipality of Tuba, Benguet Province, Philippines where this coffee is produced, are located at an elevation of about 1,200 -1400 meters.
Originally, gold was found in this village and been mining gold by hand a long time ago until a large mining development company came to the area. After some trial excavation, the company began full-scale operations in 1958. The company said they would hire the Ibaloy people from the village as miners. However, the proud Ibaloy people refused the offer. The company resorted to hiring miners from other parts of the country. Many of those who came to work as miners were from the Ifugao Province and as far south as the Visayas. Some areas of the village originally inhabited by the Ibaloys became miners' settlements. In no time, the mining company began large-scale open-pit mining in a vast area that spanned the neighboring municipalities.
The times have changed, and environmental issues have become a hot topic in the last 20 years. Mining companies must now conduct environmental assessments in order to continue their operations The mining company decided to do a CSR project in these areas, which has long suffered significant negative environmental impacts from mining activities .About 20-30 years ago, the mining company provided coffee seedlings as one of the CSR programs and interested people planted them. Now production volume is more than 1000 Kilo per year. As Ibaloys, they want to protect this land that we have inherited from our ancestors without being incorporated into the mining companies. That is why they continue to plant coffee trees in their communities.
Since July 2020, the Cordillera Green Network (CGN), together with the Kyoto-based environmental NGO called Manalabo - Learning and Design for Environment and Peace, started a project to expand coffee cultivation while protecting the environment through the agroforestry scheme and technical guidance to improve the quality.