The National, Thursday November 7th, 2013
PNG will soon host international coffee tasting to create foreign market for locally-produced organic coffee, Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll revealed in Goroka last weekend..
He said the Government would like to promote and lift the profiles of local coffee cooperatives such as the Apo Angra Kange (AAK) Coffee Cooperative.
Tomscoll said under the new agriculture policy, international coffee tasting (cupping) would be held in PNG under the sponsorship of the Government.
“Coffee cupping is one very important event where international cuppers judge on the coffee quality.
“It is held in many countries where our exporters take their coffee beans to be cupped for their quality and to get buyers,” he said.
Tomscoll said this would no longer be the case as the Government would host the cupping event to bring in cuppers and buyers, who would focus on locally-produced organic coffee.
“To achieve this, the current 10 toea levy set by the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) would be increased to 15 toea, wherein three toea would go to the hosting of the coffee tasting and two toea for other items,” Tomscoll said.
He praised AAK for establishing a successful network of coffee cooperatives and groups in the Highlands.
Tomscoll vowed to ensure AAK gets export licence under the new guidelines recently approved by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
The guidelines would enable the cooperative to be a major player.
AAK cooperative director Brian Kuglame explained every process and effort they were taking to look after each individual cooperative member such as helping them to save money for school fees, medical expenses, housing and other needs.
Kuglame told Tomscoll that AAK had strong cluster groups of cooperatives in Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands and Jiwaka.