It's been one year since The Dream Coffee was officially launched!
In 2018, on November 15, we shared the Dream with the rest of the world through the release of this retail and resource site. But our collaboration with coffee farmers in T'Boli, South Cotabato started much earlier in 2017. That year, we set the foundations for equipping farmers with technical knowledge on agricultural practices and post-harvest processes, and we also started educating them on the basics of managing their finances through saving and investing.
The Dream Coffee's impact in communities in T'Boli continues to grow. We began by working with 1 barangay and 2 sitios (villages)—today, as more farmers see the value of arabica coffee, we are able to work with 2 barangays and 7 sitios. From 16 farmer-partners, we are currently working with 75, including their families.
Farmers have seen the potential of coffee for their future and a crucial way they invest is by planting more coffee trees. With the help of government institutions like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), we now have 85,000 arabica coffee trees planted, a huge jump from 10,000.
In March of this year, farmers also organized themselves under the Knoon Highland Farmers Association, the establishment of which helps them work with other farmers in T'Boli, as well as puts them in a better position to negotiate with the public and private sector. In October, we instituted an increase in the farmers' green beans buying price—the second increase we've done in two years of collaborating with them.
Coffee farmers in T'Boli are at the center of this Dream, but so many others have also helped us tell their story and impact their lives. We want to thank the municipality of T'boli, the Peace and Equity Foundation, ACDI/VOCA, USAID's Protect Wildlife, the Philippine Fiber Industry Development, and the United Maligang Farmers Cooperative. We are grateful to the roasters we have worked with, from Bote Central to the Department of Coffee to our current roaster, Brew Atelier. We want to thank each of our retail partners and partner cafés for giving us a chance. We appreciate the creatives who have helped us in this journey—Nica Goma, AJ Pangilinan, Miko Reyes, and Maura Alvero. We are indebted to the vision of Jojo Joson, who saw this Dream come to life before anyone else did.
And we are thankful to you, the person reading this, for making The Dream Coffee a part of your life—whether you bought a bag, told a friend about it, visited a store of a café that shares the Dream—because of you, we are able to continue telling this story, while changing lives along the way.
As always, thank you for dreaming with us.