From PNG coffee farm to central Melbourne

Last month Fairtrade ANZ had the privilege of having a visit from Elizabeth Duna, a coffee farmer from Papua New Guinea. Elizabeth Duna, the chairwoman of Keto – Tapasi Progress Association is the only female chairperson across the Fairtrade cooperative in the Asia-Pacific. Elizabeth oversees farmers across the association, making sure they meet Fairtrade standards.  

Elizabeths Story  

From the 12th-14th of May, I participated in the Melbourne International Coffee Expo. It was an eye-opening experience for me to see and learn a lot. I visited booths from different organizations from all over the world showcasing their products from coffee, tea, milk, and different models of espresso machines. I met consumers and learned what they like and built business connections. One of the interesting things I learned was how coffee waste is collected by Reground and used as fertilizer. As a farmer, I now understand the entire process of coffee from tree to cup. 

This trip was my second time in Australia and my first time in Melbourne. It’s a big city, and things are well-organized, beautiful, and clean. The people are friendly and very helpful. 

From my personal experience, MICE was a bigger event and an eye-opener for me, and I learned a lot. It’s a great time when everyone in the coffee supply chain gathers to meet and expose. I had the opportunity to meet consumers and value their choices and demands. 

I learned that most people in Australia love coffee, and there is a high demand for good quality coffee. The competition is very high, and the roasters want consistency in quality and quantity in the supply chain. There is a demand for PNG Fairtrade/Organic coffee because customers are happy to pay a fair price that will sustain the lives of the farmers and bring development to the communities. 

For a consumer to enjoy a good cup of coffee, it all begins at the farm. I want to encourage my people in PNG that we produce the best-tasting coffee, and if we follow best farming practices, we can be the best in the world. The challenge for us is to improve quality and increase the scale of production while continuing to protect and reclaim the natural environment. I want to encourage my people to stop drinking processed foreign products and enjoy their own organic coffee. 

I love a cup of cappuccino and black coffee when boiled in the kettle on the fire. I think the best coffee I have ever tasted is from Goroka and Simbu in Papua New Guinea. 

I was so proud to see a packet of coffee from PNG for sale in the café, and I was amazed by the stories that lots of consumers love PNG coffee. It was an honor for me to meet the people who buy our coffee and to hear from them what it’s like to sell PNG coffee. To learn the challenges faced and share their vision in the coffee business. They are committed, honest, and kind people. 

Fairtrade has a great impact on the lives of the farmers and has strengthened our market. Through Fairtrade, we have a better market, and farmers receive better prices for their produce. Farmers also receive Fairtrade Premium once annually, and it’s planned by the farmers in the meeting to invest in development and production. Fairtrade is a strong arm that holds the farmers and guides them into the market, and this is an experience from my organization Keto-Tapasi Progress Association. Keto-Tapasi is privileged to be a Fairtrade certified organization. 

Story by; 

Elizabeth Duna 


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