Bote Central: Creating a Chain of Happiness for Philippine Coffee Farmers
The Philippine coffee industry is beset by a multitude of problems: declining land area planted to coffee, poor quality of coffee beans due to poor farm practices, and low productivity of coffee farmers who are unable to earn enough commensurate to their hard labor. As a result, Philippine coffee bean production has been on a decline for over a decade, in spite of the increasing local demand for coffee. In this paper, we illustrate how the different challenges faced by the Philippine coffee industry are closely interlinked, but are inadequately addressed by the fragmented efforts undertaken by government and the private sector. Utilizing a single-case (embedded) study research design, we demonstrate that a holistic and collaborative approach that targets critical leverage points in the coffee supply chain might be a viable approach to address the systemic nature of the problem. The case of Bote Central, particularly its Kape’t Buhay Program, highlights the importance of having a mechanism that effectively coordinates the efforts of the various players in the coffee supply chain towards a clear and compelling goal.
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