CIC’s regional coffee cupping comp attracts new growers

THE Coffee Industry Corporation’s (CIC) Cupping Competition which commenced last Friday has attracted high interest among new grower groups across the country.
This year’s regional contest was held in Goroka, attracting 110 grower groups from 10 provinces.
Eastern Highlands being the hub of coffee industry has 37 groups followed by Morobe with 28 and Jiwaka with 17.
The six-day regional contest is expected to end today and has attracted many first time participants from provinces like Eastern Highlands, Simbu, Morobe, Madang, Milne Bay, East New Britain, Gulf and Central.
Inclusive of these participants are 25 grower groups taking part in coffee rehabilitation under CIC’s Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (CIC-PPAP).
Many of these farmer groups are first time participants.
The chief executive officer of CIC Charles Dambui acknowledged the participation of all smallholder grower groups who demonstrated an interest in quality coffee production.
“The objective of this event is to encourage production of quality coffee at the growers’ level in line with the coffee industry’s Tree-To-
Cup policy.
“I am pleased to see many grower groups from far and wide, like Tapini in remote Goilala, to take part for the first time,” Dambui said.
He said the demand for quality coffee was gaining momentum and local farmers were slowly tapping into specialty markets for a higher price compared to the conventional markets.
Senior quality control officer Rose Romalus said CIC’s cupping committee made the decision for Arabica coffee only to take part in this year’s competition. East Sepik topped the Robusta coffee criteria in the 2016 national contest.
Romalus said this year’s regional challenge had good representation from high and low altitude areas of the country.
One of CIC’s Q-graders, Stilla Frisu, said they had rejected a few coffee samples based on physical inspection of their quality.
Frisu and Enos Dum of CIC are two of four internationally recognised Q-graders, a profession associated with the specialty coffee industry. They examine coffee and score based on attributes and overall quality. The system quantifies taste attributes in a coffee cup such as;

  •  Acidity
  •  Body
  •  Flavour
  •  Qftertaste
  •  Uniformity
  •  Balance
  • Sweetness

To ensure all participants are identifying flavour characteristics in the same way.
CIC’s general manager (Industry Operations) Steven Tumae said only 60 high quality coffee samples would proceed to the 2018 National Coffee Cupping Competition to be held in Port Moresby on Sept 8-14, coinciding with the Apec meeting.
“We are using the Specialty Coffee Association American protocols or standards for roasting, preparation and cupping,” he said.
The national contest will attract international coffee judges from Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.
This year’s regional and national competition is held in partnershipwith Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Programme, an Australian Government initiative, co-funded by the New Zealand Government to help Pacific island countries better manage and utilise opportunities to export primary products including fish and
forestry products.
The CEO also acknowledges the support from Bolaven Farms Hong Kong, GrainPro Philippines, Liberty Coffee Singapore, New Guinea Highlands Coffee Export, Investment Promotion Authority and Express Freight Management towards staging of the national competition in Port Moresby.
The Coffee Cupping Competition started in 2014 through a directive by the PNG Government through the ‘Tree-to-Cup Policy’ to enable farmers to go into SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises).
The competition aims to identify and profile good quality coffee from progressive cooperative groups in major coffee growing provinces and expose PNG coffee to the world.

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CIC’s regional coffee cupping comp attracts new growers