Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mabuhay from Mindanao

Our group had a little bit of a later start leaving the hotel at 7 this morning and flying to Cagayan de Oro in the north of the island. It was a beautiful flight looking down on the various islands of the Visayas. CDO is a totally different world from Manila. We were the only plane at the airport with a single baggage belt inside of an open air terminal.

So after landing and meeting Terry, we headed off into the hills for our first meeting of the day--a lunch meeting with the Mindanao franchisee for Rocky Mountain Arabica Coffee Company. Bobby and his sons are working to sell their single serve brewing machines into restaurants throughout the island. Right now they only have a few but are working on expanding. One of the main issues is that brewed coffee is associated with poor farmers while Nescafe instant coffee is the predominant choice. RMACC has an interesting model where they seek to control the quality from seed to cup.

Then it was off to meet Tito at Nestle’s Cagayan de Oro Processing Facility. It is the Philippine’s only facility for making Nescafe Classic and it serves the whole domestic market. If they are short on beans, they import first from Nestle Vietnam and then Nestle Indonesia. Not only is it a processing facility, but CDO is also one of their buying stations so they do an inspection there as well. In addition to defects and moisture levels, they also taste test the coffee which Ben and I tried out today. It was interesting that both companies are primarily trying to serve a domestic market in two different directions. Both are coping with generating enough quality supply, but RMACC is trying to change tastes and perceptions.

Now we are up in the hills in Malaybalay City. While the drive was not that far, the road is twisty and slow with traffic. A great dinner and then it’ll be an early night to get some sleep. Till tomorrow night...

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