Registered operators only to sell coffee: CIC

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

CHERRY coffee selling and buying are to be conducted only by registered operators of the wet processing factories and their contracted buyers, according to the Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd.
CIC coffee inspectors relayed this to villagers at Gaha and Nokondi near Goroka town in the Eastern Highlands.
Coffee inspector Johnem Pusa said the objective of the policy was to address social issues related to cherry theft and quality issues relating to illegal trading of cherry coffee.
Following an industry outcry in 2008 on escalating problem of coffee cherry theft, the cherry trade policy was gazetted to protect coffee growers and instil regulated guidelines to ensure trading of cherry was done properly.
It was enforced through the assistance of police.
From 2009, the CIC in partnership with village courts and police had been carrying out massive awareness and surveillance exercises in Enga, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands and Southern Highlands.
Industry, regulations and compliance manager Michael Waim said the policy was still effective.
“If you knowingly sell or buy cherry coffee off the roads without abiding the cherry trade policy, you will be severely penalised,” he said.
Many plantations have been reluctant to continue because of the high rate of cherry theft.