New CIC Board Sworn In

Eight of the 12 CIC Board of Directors who were sworn in last Friday including Dr. Vele Pat Illa’ava (DAL Secretary) who is not in the photo, From left: Ellison Ketauwo,  Henry Ame, Patrick Kom, Nick Ello, Jerry Anisi, Gad Wamiri and Joseph Kom.

After two and a half years, the National Executive Council (NEC) has finalized the appointment of a new board of directors for the PNG Coffee Industry Corporation. 

Eight of the twelve new members were sworn into office last Friday (November 4th, 2016) in the presence of Eastern Highlands Provincial Magistrate Gerard Vetunawa, Agriculture Minister Hon.Tommy Tomscoll, DAL Secretary Dr. Vele Pat Illa,ava and CIC staff and management. 

The eight of the twelve newly appointed non-ex officio directors and an ex-officio director include Mr. Joseph Kom (Simbu Smallholders Coffee Growers Association-SHCGA), Mr. Jerry Anisi (Momase SHCGA), Mr. Patrick Komba (Enga & others SHCGA), Mr. Gad Wamiri (Plantation & Processors Association), Mr. Nick Ello (EHP SHCGA), Mr.Henry Ame (Exporter’s Council), Mr. Ellison Ketauwo (PNG Blockholders Coffee Growers Association) and Dr. Vele Pat Illa’ava (Secretary Dept. Agriculture & Livestock). 

The other four Directors yet to be sworn in are Jack Kulam (WHP SHCGA), Mr Peter Hawi (Southern Region SHCGA), Secretary or Alternate (Department of Commerce and Industry) and Secretary or Alternate (Department of Treasury). 

The last full term of the Coffee Industry Board was in 2013. Since then, there had been an Interim board thereafter until NEC on the 26th October, 2016, appointed the non-ex officio members to the new board. 

Agriculture Minister Hon. Tommy Tomscoll congratulated the new members and told them to uphold the values and vision of CIC. “You are here because there is an association that recommended you to come to the CIC board”.

“Your first responsibility is not to this board but to ensure that the association you represent is functional and is operating. You must continue to consult with your association members and hold association meetings.” Mr. Tomscoll said the industry will be driven by associations as it is underpinned by smallholders and by blockholders. 

Mr. Tomscoll took the opportunity and commended CIC CEO Mr. Charles Dambui and his management and staff for an excellent job in turning around the organization to what it has come to this day. 

The Minister recalled that when he took office in 2012 as the agriculture minister, CIC was in turmoil. “There was continued impasse between the board and the management.” Numerous attempts were done to resolve the issue with understanding for the board and management to amicably except each other’s fault and get the organization moving in the interest of government and most importantly the growers. However, for almost a year the problem continued. 

The term of the last board expired in 2013 and a decision had to be made on a change in the management. This last change then brought in the current CEO as acting. “He was quickly appointed and confirmed to the position because he showed great care in taking this organization forward.” 

“After sorting this issue, we had to come back and work out a board. A board that brings experience and must have our people at heart, not CIC.” Mr. Tomscoll said that one of the hurdles he noted in forming a board quickly was because over the years, many of the provincial associations did not operate, and did not have consultations with their chairman.  

Minister Tomscoll told the newly appointed members to see today and onwards as a new beginning and be truthful to themselves. “You must remain in contact and relevant to our farmers. I want to commend all our board members for being appointed and I wish you well in you work and vision for the future of this organization that you will carry.” 

The minister also announced that the board will be chaired by the chairman of the PNG smallholder’s coffee growers association. 

Chief executive officer Mr. Charles Dambui in congratulating all the directors told them that the government had confidence in them to lead the industry forward. “On behalf of CIC staff and management, we have confidence and trust in you all to provide a pathway for the growth of the industry.” 

He said the challenge now is to work with the limited resources that are on hand and think strategically to drive the industry with these resources. “I believe this newly appointed board will provide that leadership and pathway and show us how we can deliver and solve some of the problems our farmers are facing.” 

Mr. Dambui highlighted that the new board has a good mixture of people with wealth of experience from the growers to the exporter’s level and thanked them for accepting their directorship for the next 3 years.