Coffee boss wants niche markets for farmers

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013

 YAGI Mountain Farmers of the Faintina area, Henganofi district,  Eastern Highlands, won the first prize of K1,000 during the Cup of Excellence competition held by the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Ltd during the Goroka Show last month.

Acting chief executive of the corporation Anton Benjamin expressed much satisfaction on the initiative by CIC staff to host such an important competition to identify quality coffee produced by local farmers and connect them to niche markets.

Benjamin said demand for quality coffee was increasing and coffee from the “local farmers should enter such coffee quality cupping competition and be sold in niche markets that offer premium prices rather than selling them in the traditional conventional markets”.

He said small holders produced 85% of PNG coffee and it should be targeted at high value markets unless more volume was achieved through investment in rehabilitation and new plantings.

Leader of Yagi Mountain Farmers (YMF) Avis Jopa was at hand to receive the prize during a small presentation ceremony at the CIC head office in Goroka.

The coffee sample from YMF scored 85.65 points, slightly over the samples from Fesmaka Tarabo Group from Okapa district that scored 85.55 points, and samples from Colbran Coffeelands in the Obura/ Wonenera district scored the third place with 85.4 points.

Manager for CIC’s industry regulations and compliance Sam Menaga said all the 32 samples collected around the eight districts of Eastern Highlands scored reasonably well to qualify as quality coffee with minor issues in moisture content and defects.

According to Benjamin, the Cup of Excellence Competition would continue in next year’s show and invitations would be sent all the growers in the country to participate.

The competition used the Q grading cupping and scoring system, which is universally accepted and practised in the coffee industry.

The five cuppers were Rose Romalus, Warap Era, and Fako Zume from CIC, Stila Frisu from Monpi Coffee Exports and Esther Vialeahy from Colbran Coffeelands Ltd.