High-value coffee brewing: CIC renews MOU with PHAMA Plus
The Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Limited has renewed its partnership with the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Plus Program to further improve productivity among smallholder farmers and to boost the profile of PNG coffee in specialty markets.
Through this collaboration, supported by Australia and New Zealand, PHAMA Plus will continue to provide technical support to those involved in the coffee value chain to help increase the volume of good quality coffee exported to high-value specialty and differentiated markets.
“We need premium prices for good quality coffee to make coffee farming profitable for smallholders. This means maintaining quality control at all steps of the value chain, from production to processing and export,” said CIC Chief Operations Officer, Steven Tumae, after signing the Memorandum of Understanding.
“Investments in agricultural and business training, tools and equipment, and market development through this partnership will open doors to increase incomes for small growers, enhance PNG’s export capabilities, and increase its foreign exchange revenues.”
The partnership will also support small scale processing methods and new technology for coffee farmers targeting improved bean quality.
Through the strong cooperation between CIC, PNG Women in Coffee Association (WICA) and PHAMA Plus, women in the coffee value chain will be supported to improve their post-harvest processing skills, coffee cupping knowledge and barista skills, as well as receive support with market access both domestically and overseas.
PHAMA Plus National Facilitator Tamar Amean said the partnership will focus on establishing links with buyers in specialty markets and promoting PNG coffee in alternative markets.
“We’re pleased to continue our work with CIC to support the implementation of regulatory improvements and explore opportunities to position PNG coffee to be more competitive,” said Mrs Amean.
“PHAMA Plus supported the development of CIC’s Marketing and Communications Plan 2022-2025 which we are now rolling out. This includes attending select overseas coffee trade shows and promoting of PNG coffees to targeted overseas buyers. We will also place more emphasis on promoting the domestic sales and using ground coffee instead of instant coffee.”
Coffee is the second most important agriculture cash crop in PNG after palm oil. Up to 400,000 rural households rely on coffee as a principal source of cash income, particularly in PNG’s highlands.
In the previous phase of the PHAMA Plus program, PHAMA Plus supported CIC to roll out national green bean (grading) standards which addressed the price discrimination between small holders and plantation owners in the coffee industry. Samples of PNG specialty coffee green were shipped to USA, Australia and South-East Asia. This remains a priority in the new partnership.
PHAMA Plus and CIC’s collaboration contributes to strengthening the partnership between government and private sector, which is critical to growing the PNG coffee industry.