Papua New Guinea coffee has received much publicity in New Zealand through joint efforts of the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) Ltd and Fairtrade (Australia and New Zealand).
CIC’s Mobile Coffee Extension Officer, Michael Toliman, who was invited by Fairtrade CEO Steven Knapp, to New Zealand last month, promoted PNG coffee and also had the opportunity to co-launch Auckland as the Fairtrade City of New Zealand with Auckland Mayor, Len Brown.
Mr Toliman highlighted the positive impacts on the livelihoods of rural PNG coffee farmers that are selling their coffee under the Fairtrade banner.
Particularly, the Neknasi Coffee Growers Cooperative, from Nawaeb District in Morobe, is benefitting from coffee marketing arrangements with Fairtrade. Over 400 group members have opened individual bank accounts with the Micro-Bank in Lae, some have built permanent houses, three trucks were purchased for the group, a generator was bought to lighten up their village, and the group is now working on a water project.
Mr Toliman toured various cities of New Zealand and informed the participants that their money spent on buying PNG coffee under the Fairtrade arrangement is creating visible impacts on the lives of many coffee farmers from rural PNG.
Mr Toliman was invited to attend the Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual event that was launched in Europe in 1997 to encourage and promote products of discouraged third world producers to have a fairer market to sell their products and develop their economic capabilities.