PNG workshop covers coffee sensory skills & marketing

Story courtesy of the International Trade Centre (ITC)

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In the past year when global coffee exports increased just 1.5 per cent, Papua New Guinea managed to grow its exports by 8.7 per cent.

Exporting to over a dozen countries, PNG’s specialty coffee exports are focused on three major markets—the United States, Germany and Australia. PNG’s coffee exports to the United Kingdom have increased by 3 percent since 2015 and the UK has been identified as a market with high potential for growth.

The key challenge for producers is to expand their export markets through better production quality, branding and marketing.

With the support of the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships Programme (UKTP) and in collaboration with the PNG Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), coffee producers and exporters gathered in Goroka, PNG for a workshop earlier this year.

The Workshop brought together a diverse group of coffee producers, exporters and workers. Half the participants were women, demonstrating the strong and growing representation of PNG women in this important export sector.

Participants were guided through theory, tasting and how to apply this knowledge when evaluating coffee’s natural characteristics and sensory skills.

During the sensory skills module, participants learnt about the way we perceive what we taste and how to apply this knowledge when evaluating coffee’s natural characteristics, and the Green Coffee module covered the life cycle of specialty coffee production from growing the plant, through processing, shipping, storage and arrival at a roaster.

Day two of the workshop was dedicated to the basics of branding and its application to coffee. Participants were encouraged to bring fresh ideas on the context and marketing of their coffee business and to imagine what kind of company they wanted to build.

This workshop was the first in the series of training sessions for specialty coffee producers and exporters in PNG as the industry seeks to recover and grow.

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