The willingness to comply and the flexibility to accept change are the winning gauges of Jea Natural Coffee.
A homegrown enterprise from Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental, Jea Natural Coffee has been producing roasted ground corn beverages for more than five years now. It has been manufacturing its product using improvised roasting and grinding machines.
However, in 2020, it was as if a steaming, brewed cup of corn beverage was poured unto them when news came in that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tagged their product as "Unregistered" at the FDA website. Hence, an advisory to the public prohibiting purchase was published.
For Jea Natural Coffee, it was not a point of turning back but a call to press on and step up. Their goal is to upgrade its production equipment, establish a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant production facility, and acquire a License to Operate (LTO) from the FDA.
In the same year, to fully realize their aspiration, Jea Natural Coffee applied for the Department of Science and Technology's Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). By the second quarter, the firm received the DOST-SETUP assistance to upgrade its production equipment. The program also includes enhancement of product label design, GMP-compliant production building layout, and technical support on the online application for LTO.
At the start of the year 2021, the firm's application for LTO got approved. This time, theyalso started their production using the upgraded equipment in an enhanced and GMP-compliant facility.
With the assistance from the DOST, Jea Natural Coffee’s production capacity increased from 40kgs to 80kgs per production schedule with 6% to 27% increased average productivity improvement. Even with the pandemic, the firm was able to employ four production workers and additional two sale agents.
"Dako kayo ang natabang ug kabag-ohan ang nahatagsa DOST. Sauna maulaw mi if na’aymuanhasabuhatan kay mopalit. Karon proud na mi ngamupakitasa building ug mga materials (DOST helped a lot in improving our production operations. Before, we were hesitant whenever customers visit our facility. Now we are proud to showcase our production building.), said Jill Rapallo, owner of Jea Coffee.
“For Jea Natural Coffee, success did not happen overnight. It needs determination and partnership to brew one's goal successfully. For us, we are fortunate to partner with DOST,” Rapallo added.
With the willingness to accept technological innovation combined with partnership, a brew of success will surely be within the reach of Jea Natural Coffee.
For more information on the various assistance available from DOST-X, please contact Julie Anne H. Baculio, Science Research Specialist I at firstname.lastname@example.org or through mobile number 0917-709-3706. (Rogelyn C. Calago, DOST-X)