Organically-grown coffee made from sun-dried native yellow corn grains by the farmers of Sumilao, Bukidnon has apparently invaded and captured the upscale cafés in Metro Manila.
This in turn would provide more sources of livelihood to the families of Northern Mindanao’s small agricultural entrepreneurs as they aim to ramp up big time in the commercial coffee markets of Manila.
Through its earlier business name E-Farmers, the group behind Sumilao Corn Coffee has come a long way after becoming one of the top winners of the 2009 edition of Business in Development (BiD) Challenge Philippines.
The BiD Challenge, initiated by the Netherlands-based BiD Network, is an annual international online business plan competition with participants from Africa to Latin America promoting poverty reduction through enterprise development.
Here in the Philippines, as the only country in Asia actively participating in the BiD Challenge, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) has been organizing the local leg of the competition since 2007.
Individually packed in 200-gram carton boxes, Sumilao Corn Coffee products have been shipped to Manila since early this year.
They are now being marketed at a specialty bakeshop near Greenhills in San Juan and at a mall-based coffee shop near Buendia in Makati, according to one of the business partners who is now based in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, which is north of Bukidnon.
Maria Carmela Sue Otarra of Sumilao Agri-Enterprise (SAE) Inc. also disclosed that she and her business partners are currently arranging a deal to promote their corn coffee at an organic goods store at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and at an organic coffee shop in Davao.
“Our corn coffee is special because it is caffeine-free, all-organic, and all natural, with no additives and no preservatives,” Otarra said in an interview with PBSP at the corn coffee plant and corn dryer farm in Sitio Fatima, Zone 6 in Barangay San Vicente, Sumilao.
She said carton boxes of corn coffee are being packed in net contents of 200 grams each out of a daily production of 40 kilograms or a total of 200 cartons.
Of this, 75 percent or 30 kilos (150 cartons) are sent via Seagate Shipping to Luzon, while the remaining 25 percent or 10 kilos (50 cartons) remain to be sold in Bukidnon or the nearby provinces in Mindanao.
article from Naila Bulletin; photo from facebook