COUNTRY: Papua New Guinea
Located in the southwestern Pacific, lies a county with immense cultural and biological diversity. While it is well known for its beaches and coral reefs, inland is a landscape that is geologically diverse with rich volcanic soil. Surprisingly, coffee production only dates back to the late 1920’s, despite the countries ideal growing conditions. The quality of coffee grown in Papua New Guinea is exceedingly high and often cups in the specialty coffee range, but due to several factors, such as economic and civil unrest, locals are often unable to obtain the exposure needed to access the international market.
REGION: Tambul-Nebilyer District
The Nebilyer Valley is home to many family-owned farms. Each of these producers typically cultivates coffee on 1 to 2 hectares of land. This region is home to the Ulga and Kolga tribes. Although these two tribes have traditionally been in conflict, coffee grown in the region has created a common ground for producers.
PRODUCER: Kuta Mill
Founded by two Australian brothers in the 1930’s, the Kuta Mill is built on a neutral zone between neighboring tribes. This mill was one of the first in the area, and is now the last local cooperative in operation since the country gained independence in 1975. Currently the mill is managed by son Brian Leahy. At the Kuta Mill, coffee is washed, dried and processed. Pulp from processing is then collected and composted utilizing earthworms to produce organic fertilizers. In order to further support and encourage the local farmers, Leahy provides bonus payments after harvest to the farmers that consistently deliver quality cherries.