JANUARY 2024 DISCOVERY COFFEE

 

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Papua New Guinea - Kongo

CHOCOLATE, SPICES, WINEY

ESPRESSO ROAST

REGION | Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea

PROCESS | Washed

SPECIES | Arabica 

VARIETY | Arusha, Bourbon, Typica

ALTITUDE | 1400-1900 MASL

 

ABOUT KONGO COFFEE

Kongo Coffee Ltd. is a locally owned coffee export company. Fundamental to their business practices is to be involved in community and social activities related to improving the lives of all contributing smallholders and their families. CEO Jerry Kapka says: “Kongo sees ourselves as having a very special obligation towards our people.

As well as contributing to community projects, we provide direct employment to 85 people during the off season with the number increasing to around 200 during the peak coffee season months. We also support our coffee producers directly in many ways – assisting with purchases of coffee de-puplers, building materials, motor vehicle loans, and agricultural education”.

Over the years Kongo has been supporting several schools across the Simbu province. This includes funding for building development, resources, and school fee scholarships. In 2012, an elementary school was officially named the Jerry Kapka Elementary School, in honour of the company’s support for schools and education in the community.

Kongo are currently looking to raise further investment to build a new bank of classrooms at the school. To contribute, a $0.10/lb premium is included into the price of the Kongo Coffee B Grade purchased from the 2023 crop.

 

HISTORY OF COFFEE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The anthropological history of PNG is fascinating, but this is a page about coffee, so: Germans and British colonised Papua New Guinea in the 19th century, with the Germans toward the north and Brits in the south, where they planted coffee in and around Port Moresby in order to sell it to the Australian market. In the 1920s, commercial coffee production was increased through the introduction of Typica coffee from Jamaica, a variety commonly known as Blue Mountain. As was common in most coffee-growing areas of the Pacific Islands, most of the coffee production was from a handful of large European- or Australian-owned estates, with labour coming from the local indigenous population.

Today, while there are still estates and plantations, the majority of coffee production comes from smallholder farmers, each with around 1–2 hectares called “gardens” in which they grow small amounts of coffee as well as whatever else a family or community might need for use or sale. Less than 3 percent of the country is used for commercial agriculture, and forest makes up more than 63 percent of Papua New Guinea’s landscape.

Cultural differences and conflict are partially responsible for the logistical difficulties of sourcing from PNG: The country’s many indigenous populations are often very distinct from one another in terms of custom and language, and individual communities might comprise only a few hundred people, making communication and the cultural sensitivity required to do business here more difficult than in other coffee-growing regions. Less than 10 percent of the population is connected to or uses the Internet for communications, and there are roughly 55 telephones (both fixed-line and cellular) for every 100 people—another impediment when operating within a very digital contemporary global coffee industry.

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