Australian PM praises PNG cocoa
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull received a warm welcome from PHAMA at the recent Australia-PNG Entrepreneur and Innovation Showcase in Port Moresby.
PHAMA and program partner Paradise Foods Ltd (PFL) briefed the PM on PFL’s Queen Emma Chocolate Company (QECC), the progress of PNG’s cocoa and chocolate export market, and the support provided by PHAMA.
The PHAMA and PFL team were well received by the PM, who commented that he hopes to see QECC’s chocolates “making a big appearance in Australia before too long”*.
PM Turnbull acknowledged the importance of the Australia-PNG trade relationship in his address at the Australia-PNG Business Council meeting following the Showcase.
“The two way trade relationship as you know is valued at $5.8 billion. Australia is a very welcoming market for two of PNG’s best agricultural products; coffee and cocoa,”* he said.
Through PHAMA, the Australian Government has provided a range of support to the cocoa industry in PNG, including: its support for PFL; facilitating linkages with overseas buyers including higher end boutique chocolatiers; assisting producers to meet market requirements; and providing training and resources to cocoa farmers.
PM Turnbull commented on this support, “we’re helping the cocoa farmers in Papua New Guinea maximise the export value of their crop with programs to improve the quality and consistency of exported beans. Your cocoa is now being used by some of our best and most beloved chocolatiers,”* he said.
The Australian Government’s scope of work through PHAMA continues to grow, with the PM recognising that “more can be done to help your farmers meet biosecurity requirements and deliver high-quality products to Australian consumers”*.
PHAMA has completed a market study to explore export opportunities for PNG specialty cocoa and outline clear export pathways for suppliers. The Program has arranged a series of trade visits with cocoa buyers from Europe, UK and USA, resulting in new buyer relationships and improved pricing.
PHAMA is also supporting Cocoa Warwagira, a national cocoa competition to be held in Kokopo, East New Britain (PNG) from May 25-27. This event will see the best cocoa farmers from around PNG presenting their cocoa beans for assessment by a group of international expert judges.
PNG has about 3 million cocoa producers, many being small holders or family units relying on cocoa as their only source of income. The nation exports approximately 41,000 metric tonnes of cocoa a year. Global cocoa demand is expected to continue to grow over the long term, including increasing demand for high quality, single origin chocolate.
PHAMA supports Pacific Island nations in managing and utilising opportunities to export primary products. The Program is assisting producers, exporters and government agencies in taking advantage of opportunities to access new markets or improve returns from existing markets.
The core countries assisted through PHAMA are Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. PHAMA is an Australian Government initiative co funded by the New Zealand Government and implemented by AECOM.
For more information, contact Guy Redding at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Quotes taken from PM Turnbull’s speech at the Business Breakfast with Australia-PNG Business Council, 09 April 2017, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Speech can be accessed here: http://www.pm.gov.au/media/2017-04-09/business-breakfast-australia-png-business-council