Empowering Balutakay Coffee Farmers: BACOFA Coop a group

Arabica Specialty Coffee: An Overview of BACOFA Coop’s Farming Practices

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Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association, also known as BACOFA Coop, is a coffee farmer group in Bansalan, Davao del Sur. As a cooperative, they work together to promote their farming practices and find better opportunities as a group. BACOFA Coop is home to farmers who cultivate Arabica specialty coffee, which is grown in special volcanic soil with a cool climate and high elevation of 1,200 meters above sea level.

BACOFA Coop

BACOFA Coop is located in the mountainous area of Purok Pluto, Bansalan, in Davao Del Sur, which serves as a haven for small coffee farmers who banded together to form the association. The association’s mission is to provide high-quality coffee to the world while promoting sustainable farming practices and supporting their local community.

BACOFA Coop’s commitment to promoting sustainable farming practices is evident in its cultivation of Arabica specialty coffee. They take pride in their farming practices, which include using organic fertilizers and natural pest control methods. The association’s dedication to producing high-quality coffee has earned them recognition in the coffee industry, and they continue to strive for excellence in their farming practices.

History and Background

Formation of BACOFA

The cooperative was formed in May 2013, with only 20 members, to promote their coffee farming work and find better opportunities as a group. By 2017, the membership had reached around 200, and they renamed the organization the Balutakay Coffee Farmers Agriculture Cooperative.

BACOFA’s primary goal is to improve small coffee farmers’ livelihood by providing them access to better markets, training programs, and resources. To achieve this, BACOFA has partnered with various government and private organizations to provide the farmers with the necessary support. One of their notable achievements is their participation in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition, where they have won awards for their high-quality coffee.

Balutakay’s Coffee Heritage

Balutakay is a barangay in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, known for its fertile ground for Arabica coffee. The small coffee farmers in Balutakay have been growing coffee for generations, and it is deeply ingrained in their culture and heritage.

BACOFA Coop has been instrumental in preserving and promoting the coffee heritage of Balutakay. Their training programs teach farmers about sustainable and organic farming practices, which produce high-quality coffee and protect the environment. BACOFA also helps the farmers find better markets for their coffee, both locally and internationally, which has resulted in better prices for their products.

BACOFA Coop Arabica Coffee

Coffee Farming Practices

Sustainable Agriculture

Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (BACOFA) Cooperative is committed to sustainable agriculture. The cooperative believes that environmental care is crucial in producing high-quality coffee beans. They use organic farming practices that minimize synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to achieve this. Instead, they rely on natural inputs such as compost and vermicast to enrich the soil and promote plant growth.

Aside from using organic inputs, we also employ integrated pest management techniques to control pests and diseases. This approach involves the use of natural predators and repellents to minimize the use of harmful chemicals. By doing so, we reduce the risk of soil erosion and water pollution, which can harm the environment.

Harvest and Post-Harvest Processes

Coffee harvesting is a critical stage in coffee production. We at BACOFA Cooperative take great care in ensuring that only ripe coffee cherries are harvested. This is because unripe cherries can affect the quality of the coffee beans. After harvesting, the coffee cherries are sorted and processed immediately to prevent spoilage.

In processing the coffee beans, we use the wet method, which involves removing the outer layers of the coffee cherry to reveal the beans. The beans are then fermented, washed, and dried to remove excess moisture. This process helps to enhance the flavor and aroma of the coffee beans.

Balutakay Coffee Farmers Agriculture Cooperative

Training and Development

As a cooperative, BACOFA values the importance of continuous education and improvement. Investing in our farmers’ knowledge and skills is vital to producing high-quality coffee beans and achieving sustainable livelihoods.

Farmer Education Programs

They partnered with various institutions and organizations to provide each member access to comprehensive farmer education programs to achieve this goal. These programs cover many topics, including coffee production, post-harvest processing, and marketing.

One of their key partners is the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving coffee quality and the lives of the people who produce it. Through CQI’s Q Grader program, their farmers can become certified coffee cuppers, enabling them to evaluate the quality of their own coffee and participate in the specialty coffee industry.

Quality Improvement Workshops

In addition to farmer education programs, they also conduct regular training sessions and workshops focused on quality improvement. These workshops cover cupping, sensory analysis, and processing techniques.

Through these workshops, the coffee farmers learn how to identify defects in their coffee and implement best practices to improve quality. This benefits our cooperative and helps our farmers command higher prices for their coffee in the market.

BACOFA’s Coffee Varieties

As a cooperative of coffee farmers, BACOFA takes pride in producing high-quality coffee varieties. The cooperative cultivates Arabica coffee, known for its exceptional taste and aroma.

Arabica Coffee Cultivation

BACOFA’s coffee farmers grow Arabica coffee at 1,200 meters above sea level. The high elevation and cool climate provide the perfect conditions for growing specialty Arabica coffee. The cooperative’s farmers use sustainable farming practices, such as intercropping, to promote soil health and prevent erosion.

Catimor Arabica grown in Davao del Sur

Catimor Arabica and Other Strains

BACOFA cultivates different strains of Arabica coffee, including the Catimor Arabica strain. Catimor Arabica is a hybrid strain resistant to coffee rust, a disease that can devastate coffee crops.

Other Arabica coffee strains BACOFA cultivates include Bourbon, Typica, and Mundo Novo. These strains are known for their unique flavor profiles, influenced by the soil, climate, and altitude in which they are grown.

BACOFA has established a presence in both local and international markets.

BACOFA Coffee products

Awards and Recognitions

BACOFA Coop has received numerous awards and recognitions for their high-quality coffee. In 2016, they were ranked as the top coffee brand during the 2nd National Coffee Conference in Baguio City, which speaks of the quality of the BACOFA brand. This recognition resulted from their hard work and dedication to producing award-winning coffee.

Their coffee has also been recognized internationally for its exceptional quality. The Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association has been producing internationally acclaimed coffee on the foothills of Mt. Apo. The Specialty Coffee Association of America has recognized the coffee harvested here for its unique flavor and aroma.

In addition to this, BACOFA Coop has also participated in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition, where their coffee has been consistently recognized for its quality. The competition is a platform for coffee farmers to showcase their skills and expertise in producing high-quality coffee.

BACOFA Coop has achieved this level of success due to its commitment to quality and its passion for coffee farming. They have established themselves as one of the leading producers of specialty coffee in the Philippines.

Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association in Davao del Sur

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the current coffee prices offered by the BACOFA Coop?

As a cooperative, BACOFA ensures that its farmers receive fair prices for their coffee beans. The current prices offered by the coop may vary depending on the quality and quantity of the coffee beans. For more information about the current coffee prices, it is recommended to contact the association directly.

How can I get in touch with the Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association?

You can contact the Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association by visiting their website here or by calling them at 0946 999 1436.

Where is the BACOFA Coop located?

The BACOFA Coop is located in Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Philippines. The farms are situated at the peak of the mountains in Davao Del Sur, providing fertile ground for Arabica coffee.

What are the main challenges faced by coffee farmers in the Philippines?

Coffee farmers in the Philippines face various challenges, including climate change, pests and diseases, market volatility, and lack of access to credit and technology. These challenges can affect the quality and quantity of coffee produced and the livelihoods of farmers and their families.

How can individuals contribute to supporting local coffee farmers in Davao?

Individuals can support local coffee farmers in Davao by purchasing coffee from cooperatives like BACOFA, which promotes fair trade and sustainability. By doing so, individuals can help improve the livelihoods of farmers and their families and promote the growth of the local coffee industry.

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