LAOAG CITY – Nearly 40 participants, including 23 exhibitors from 23 localities in the province, are gearing up for Ilocos Norte’s first coffee and food festival at the Arte Luna, Paoay Church Complex on Dec. 13-14.
Provincial tourism office representative CJ Peregrino said in an interview Wednesday that they have partnered with Dovetail, a suburban cafe and bakery based in Australia, and locally-based One Coffee Studio for the event that aims to boost the local coffee and food industry.
“We only have limited slots for the event and we are overwhelmed by the number of interested participants,” he said.
The two-day event will feature a coffee brew showdown, a taste test of newly launched coffee and pastry products, and a cook-off among the local government units.
In line with the provincial government’s efforts to make Ilocos Norte a commercial hub and gateway in this northern part of Luzon, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, in an earlier statement, said more value-adding products are being developed to sustain economic growth.
For one, the municipalities of Piddig and Pagudpud have consolidated their coffee growers for the processing and introduction of a homegrown brand of "Kapeng Ilokano.”
Several upland and lowland coffee plantations in the province have begun to bear fruits of high-grade Arabica, Excelsa, and Liberica coffee varieties.
In 2021, the Environment and Natural Resources Office allocated PHP3 million to revitalize coffee growing in the province’s lowland and hilly areas in support of the government’s National Greening Program and to boost livelihood in the area. (PNA)