Tagbacan Coconut Farmers Organization (TCFO) of Brgy. Tagbacan, Salcedo, Eastern Samar is a micro-farm led by President Raymundo Awa-ao Jr. with 164 male and 168 female farmer-beneficiaries.
TCFO started by registering with the Department of Labor and Employment in 2013 with their main economic activity focused on “copra” processing. The organization’s initial steps, however, faced early impediments when Super Typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas in 2013. The typhoon has significantly affected the region’s coconut industry, including the activities of TCFO.
In 2015, through the Philippine Coconut Authority’s “Kasaganaan sa Niyugan at Kaunlaran ng Bayan” program, Tagbacan Coconut Farmers Organization was able to kick start its current roasted coffee production. TCFO were among PCA’s coconut farmer-beneficiaries which were provided coffee planting materials and technology. Aside from coffee farming, the organization also sells whole bean and grounded roasted coffee in different weight variants. They also partnered with local coffee shop Brewngan based in Borongan City, Eastern Samar which offers farm-to-cup coffee to its consumers
As an assisted micro-enterprise of the Department of Trade and Industry Region 8 since 2015 through Negosyo Center Salcedo, Tagbacan Coconut Farmers’ Organization was able to acquire varied forms of assistance for their business. TCFO was able to undergo product development assistance through which their product’s brand name Tagbacan Hills was created. The organization also became a Shared Service Facility beneficiary of a roasting machine which allowed them to upgrade their manual roasting process to transition and adopt good manufacturing practices.
TCFO was part of DTI Eastern Samar Provincial Office’s KMME 2022 Batch 1 mentees who graduated last June 14, 2022, after completing 10 online modular sessions and a Business Improvement Plan presentation. According to TCFO President Awa-ao, the KMME program added value to their organization as the modular sessions and one-on-one coaching gave them ideas on establishing better networks with merchants and other potential buyers. With improved networks, they aim to generate more sales and become more accessible to their target market.
During Awa-ao’s Business Improvement Plan presentation, TCFO was able to identify three priority short-term improvement plans. First, they aim to improve their sales and budgeting through better finance recording and monitoring practices. Second, they aim to increase their product promotion through the use of printed promotional materials. Lastly, TCFO aims to apply for their products’ shelf-life testing and product safety certification. As for its long-term improvement plans, TCFO aims to build its processing building by 2024.
After joining KMME’s online module sessions with expert mentors, TCFO continues to create better networks and even share their knowledge on coffee farming and processing. The organization has recently participated in local and regional market matching activities such as BAHANDI: Hanap Yaman sa Kanayunan Regional Trade Fair last June 9-12, 2022 in Tacloban City and Dukwag Agrikultura Agri-Aqua Trade Fair last June 13-20, 2022 in Borongan City.
TCFO President Awa-ao has even served as a resource person during the Dukwag Agrikultura Agri-Aqua Trade Fair’s Coffee Production and Processing Training where he encouraged Eastern Samar entrepreneurs to plant coffee such as the Batangas Barako variant to further boost the coffee industry of the province.
By: Regine Marie Cumla / DTI Region 8