PNG co­coa show

Grow­ers re­warded for ex­cel­lence

Paradise - - Contents - The sto­ries in our ‘Strictly Busi­ness’ sec­tion were first pub­lished in PNG’s on­line busi­ness magazine, busi­nes­sad­van­, and are re-pub­lished by ar­range­ment with Busi­ness Ad­van­tage In­ter­na­tional.

Pa­pua New Guinea’s in­au­gu­ral co­coa of ex­cel­lence show at Kokopo ear­lier this year at­tracted farm­ers from across the coun­try. One of the aims of the 2017 Air Ni­ug­ini PNG Co­coa War­wa­gira ( war­wa­gira means ‘show’ in the lo­cal To­lai lan­guage) was to find the best co­coa to rep­re­sent PNG at the In­ter­na­tional Co­coa of Ex­cel­lence show in Paris in Novem­ber.

Farm­ers were judged in var­i­ous cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing best co­coa qual­ity and best­man­aged block.

New co­coa farmer, Grace Klem­basa, from West Sepik, won gold ahead of 36 fi­nal­ists se­lected from 158 en­tries.

Klem­basa is a small­holder with 2000 trees and it was her first har­vest.

Kulkul Plan­ta­tion on Karkar Is­land, Madang, got sil­ver, and bronze went to John Yal­abing, a small­holder in lower Watut in Morobe. Ra­mandu Plan­ta­tion, in East New Bri­tain, and Madang’s Kulili Plan­ta­tion were also com­mended for their qual­ity.

PNG has won awards in the in­ter­na­tional co­coa arena pre­vi­ously, in­clud­ing in 2015 when co­coa pro­duced in lower Watut was rated in the top five in the world.

The show, which will now be staged bian­nu­ally, also aimed to ad­dress co­coa qual­ity is­sues and to or­gan­ise group mar­ket­ing to tap into niche mar­kets.

Cur­rently, PNG pro­duces only one to two per cent of the world’s co­coa.

“There­fore, our ma­jor strength lies in the qual­ity of co­coa pro­duced,” says Naithel War­tovo, the ex­port qual­ity as­sur­ance man­ager of the Co­coa Board of Pa­pua New Guinea.

“Qual­ity co­coa is our strength and we have to pro­tect it and pro­mote it at all costs,” he says.

“Pa­pua New Guinea co­coa has long been recog­nised as of the high­est qual­ity.”

He says PNG has the ge­netic ma­te­rial, good cli­mate and soils to pro­duce the very best co­coa.

Six in­ter­na­tional choco­late judges were in­volved in the Kokopo event.

They in­cluded Nathaniel Blet­ter, co-founder and ‘Fla­vormeis­ter’ at Madre Cho­co­lates in Hawaii; Lynn Jahnke from Charleys Cho­co­lates in Aus­tralia; Luke Spencer from Spencer Cho­co­lates in Aus­tralia; Sam Ratto from Videri Cho­co­lates in the US; Mar­tin Christy, founder of the choco­late review web­site Seventy %; and David Peate, for­mer man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Par­adise Foods in PNG.

Christy, the heady ju­ror, said PNG’s co­coa can com­pete with the world’s best in terms of

Pa­pua New Guinea co­coa has long been recog­nised as of the high­est qual­ity.

its great flavours and bean qual­ity. How­ever, he said, more work needs to be done to im­prove fer­men­ta­tion for PNG farm­ers to sell con­sis­tently into high-end mar­kets.

Co­coa is PNG’s third ma­jor com­mod­ity ex­port after palm oil and cof­fee. It is val­ued at PGK360 mil­lion per year and sup­ports 150,000 house­holds.

It is es­ti­mated that the in­dus­try is re­spon­si­ble for creat­ing direct em­ploy­ment for 6000 peo­ple in PNG and in­di­rect em­ploy­ment for 10,000 in spin-off ac­tiv­i­ties such as trans­porta­tion, re­tail­ing and whole­sal­ing.

Air Ni­ug­ini was the nam­ing rights spon­sor of the event, which was also sup­ported by the Co­coa Board of Pa­pua New Guinea, the Pa­cific Hor­ti­cul­tural and Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket Ac­cess pro­gram and the World Bank’s Pro­duc­tive Part­ner­ships in Agri­cul­ture Project.

The next co­coa war­wa­gira will be in Lae in 2018.

Co­coa show … (this page, clock­wise from top left) an Ilugi farmer show­ing off his co­coa pods at the in­au­gu­ral Co­coa of Ex­cel­lence Show; more pods; a PNG flag fly­ing on a co­coa float; win­ners and or­gan­is­ers at the show; (op­po­site page) a mouth-wa­ter­ing...

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