A COFFEE social enterprise supported by Philex Mining Corp. has signed a distribution agreement for its roasted beans, in an arrangement covering national and export markets.

A farmer tending to coffee seedlings in Sitio Torre, Tuba, Benguet, part of a planting program initiated by the Philex Group Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of Philex Mining Corp. — PHILEX MINING


In a statement, Philex Group Foundation, Inc. (PGFI), said the social enterprise, Px Community Foods and Marketing, Inc. (PxCFMI), signed the partnership agreement with Ryokudo Eco-Services and Trading, Inc.

The deal expands the engagement of the community around the company’s Padcal mine in livelihood programs sponsored by Philex. “We are confident that this partnership will further improve the economic condition of our local community members who are also our key partners in this endeavor,” Paulino M. Buenconsejo, PGFI executive director, said in a statement.

“In our last discussion, we also talked about exporting our coffee beans to the US, Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong,” Mr. Buenconsejo said.

PGFI will supply 50 kilos of roasted Arabica coffee to Ryokudo monthly.

“Meanwhile, our beans are also set for nationwide distribution not just in coffee shops and restaurants, but also supermarket chains, like SM, Robinson’s, Puregold, Rustan’s, Landmark, and (Davao-based) NCCC,” he added. 

Each plantation will have a consolidated area of more than two hectares within Padcal and nearby areas such as Torre, Sante Fe, and Ampucao, the statement said.

In 2014, PGFI undertook a multi-year program designed to mentor selected coffee farmers on organic coffee farm management, harvesting techniques, and value-adding post-harvest activities that will increase the volume and quality of their produce. 

“The farmers are also trained to understand, appreciate, and apply the discipline required in engaging a coffee business enterprise” Mr. Buenconsejo said.

Lawyer Michael T. Toledo, senior vice-president for Public and Regulatory Affairs at Philex Mining, said the agreement with Ryokudo will help sustain social services and job creation among its beneficiaries. 

“This is testament that mining, agriculture and other revenue-generating enterprises like tourism can coexist and actually support each other,” Toledo added.

Earlier, Philex Mining announced that additional resources have been discovered in its Bumolo porphyry copper-gold deposit in Benguet which may extend its Padcal mine’s life by two more years to 2024 from 2022. 

“The development that we are discussing today is sustainability — at the onset, what the company planned, or the joint venture plans to address the immediate need for employment of the community, when the end of mine life comes,” Mr. Toledo added.


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