30 September, 2018

Increasing Access to Market for Papua New Guinea Coffee and Cocoa Farmers

by Astra Rushton-Allan

In 2018, Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) launched its latest collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), a three year project aimed at increasing access to market for Fairtrade coffee and cocoa farmers in Papua New Guinea. This new project will run from January 2018 until June 2021 and aims to benefit an estimated 51,870 farmers and their households.

At present, Fairtrade ANZ works with nine coffee and cocoa producer organisations in Papua New Guinea. These groups are located across the country’s diverse and rugged landscape, scattered between the crystalline coastline of Madang Province and the dense mountainous jungle of the central Highlands provinces.

The producer organisations are at various stages of the Fairtrade development path, each with different needs and requiring different levels of support, but all face similar challenges in terms of their

businesses: the logistical issues caused by poor infrastructure, limited farm management techniques and nascent organizational capacity. These factors compound to make cash crop production in Papua New Guinea a complex business.

Producer Support Program Manager, Rachel Levine, states that ‘with 80% of Papua New Guineans dependent on agriculture, this next phase in our partnership with MFAT is enabling Fairtrade ANZ to continue its commitment to creating strong market opportunities and robust livelihood strategies for Papua New Guinean farmers’.

The current project is targeting the development of producer organisations through six key programs that will aim to harmonise the needs at origins with the requirements of the market. Three of these programs are supporting initiatives at the grassroots level, that will help producer organisations to improve the quality of their product, boost their business development skills and incorporate cross-cutting issues into their everyday working practices. While two further programs explore innovative ways to engage commercial partners and industry experts, to invest in projects that support the growth of producer organisations. These programs will strengthen the quality and integrity of the products our key stakeholders are able to deliver to consumers.

Uniting these five programs is Fairtrade ANZ’s dedication to strategic partnerships. This program is seeking to align various actors within the government, international development and agricultural sectors, enabling Fairtrade ANZ to deepen relationships across Fairtrade supply chains.

Watch – Impact of Fairtrade Premium investment in Papua New Guinea as a result of Fairtrade ANZ’s previous partnership with MFAT

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