Solomon Islands coffee on Pasifika Path to Market

Solomon Islands grown coffee will be available at Auckland’s Pasifika Festival on March 25-26.This year, the Labuhila Coffee Farmers Association from the East Central Guadalcanal Plains region of the Solomon Islands are showcasing their coffee to several thousand festival goers.  It is a long way to come over land and sea, however they are hoping to expand their horizons and explore New Zealand’s love affair with coffee and its café culture.

The Labuhila Coffee Farmers Association (LCFA) are part of the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest Pacific Path to Market delegation where 28 Pacific companies from 8 countries will showcase a wide range of products and handicrafts at the Pasifika Festival.

For visitors it will be a chance to buy coffee from different parts of the Pacific and learn more of the back story about the coffee producers such as the Solomon Islands.

LCFA are participating in the third stage of the PT&I Pacific Path to Market programme where Pacific businesses experience part of New Zealand’s market landscape to gain a better understanding of the local market.

Liston Veni will represent the newly emerging group of 90 coffee farmers from the Guadalcanal Plains region.

The LCFA farms are family-owned and operated, growing about 320,000 trees over 130 hectares.

In its early stages, LCFA worked in close collaboration with an exporting agricultural business, Varivao Holdings.  However, the need for independence slowly directed it towards being a stand-alone entity.

Liaising with New Zealand coffee importer, In Café, the group explored exportation opportunities.  In August 2016, they sent 3 kg of green beans as sample to New Zealand – where the demand for it was confirmed. At present, the group is working towards  Fairtrade Certification and finalising the export of 2 tonnes of green beans.

In future, the association’s vision is to play an active role in both the local and international coffee markets.  LCFA’s fundamental vision is to empower its members to achieve sustainable development, with impacts that will benefit not only the current members but also the future generation of the coffee growers of the Guadalcanal Plains.

For more information please contact:  Ian Furlong, PT&I Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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