The 2016 winners of National Coffee Cupping Competition (NCCC), Timuza Coffee Cooperative Group from Timuza village outside Kainantu town in Eastern Highlands Province, were presented their prize; a brand new Isuzu dump truck on Wednesday 19th October, 2016. 

The presentation comes two months after the competition that was held in Lae from August 15th-19th, 2016. 

The national competition brought in 127 coffees from 12 different provinces, which were then assessed by eight international Q-graders from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Costa Rice. 

Timuza coffee cooperative took away the first place at the national event this year with a score of 85.75 points, just 2.25 points above the 2015 winners. 

Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) CEO Mr. Charles Dambui told the Timuza community at the recent presentation that Timuza’s win sets a challenge for other cooperative to work hard and produce quality coffee. 

“This vehicle that you receive today is not change but a tool for you to bring about change into your community.” 

Mr Dambui further said that it was pleasing to see that a group like Timuza who has been cultivating and group marketing coffee in the last 12 years excel into the next level through the coffee competition. 

Mr Dambui said the competition looks at opening avenues for farmers to participate in the specialty market to fetch higher prices apart from the conventional markets which they sell to locally. 

Coffee competition coordinator Mr Sam Menanga told those who gathered at the presentation that the specialty market was a difficult market to participate in, as it needed one to consistently supply the same quality coffee every time is it requested for by the buyer or party overseas. 

“I congratulate Timuza for your achievement in this year’s competition and urge you to strive for the best when you produce and process your coffee.” 

Joining hands in congratulating Timuza, Mr Dambui acknowledged CIC provincial extension coordinator for Eastern Highlands Mr Samson Jack, who has been very instrumental in grooming this group to where it is today. 

“We want to work with and see groups who are ready to do group marketing and are committed to producing quality coffee.” 

Mr Dambui challenged Timuza to maintain their place and coffee attributes and also improve on their points in next year’s competition. 

Community elder Ken Tokave expressed satisfaction with the group’s performance and thanked CIC for this initiative. 

The PNG Coffee Cupping Competition started in 2014 through a directive by the 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 coffees from progressive cooperative groups in major coffee growing provinces and expose the intrinsic value of coffee grown and produced in PNG to the outside world.

Since its inception in 2014, over 150 farmer groups have participated receiving more than K450,000 in export receipts from coffee sales. 

Mr Dambui emphasized that although the competition is still in its infancy stage, it hopes to see more farmer groups participate and developed into SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises) that can transform livelihoods.

From left- CIC cupping competition coordinator Mr Sam Menanga, Executive Officer Mr Raymond Unasi and CEO Mr Charles Dambui presenting the Isuzu dump truck keys to Timuza Chairman Mr Ofi Ifuru on Wednesday 19th October, 2016 in Timuza village, Eastern Highlands Province.