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By Zachery Per

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Aug 20) – A Taiwan-based coffee dealer has struck a deal with PNG Coffee Growers Federation (PNGCGF) to import Papua New Guinea’s organic coffee.

Tsao Tsun Lee had placed orders with PNGCGF for supplies of organic coffee to his companies in Taiwan and Shanghai, China.

The deal was made when Mr Lee visited the country last month.

He first came in contact with PNG’s aromatic and organic coffee during a world tea and coffee Symposium in Shanghai last year when he visited a booth put up by the PNGCGF.

PNGCGF general manager Bernard Goma, who hosted Mr Lee on behalf of over 200 affiliates of PNGCGF’s co-operatives, said the Taiwanese businessman was impressed with the quality of PNG coffee.

Mr Goma said Mr Lee made commitments to import PNG coffee for his companies in Taiwan and China with the first order to be shipped before the end of this year.

PNGCGF chairman Jon Yogiyo said his organisation had been promoting PNG coffee aggressively in China since 2005.

He said last year, PNGCGF opened a booth at the world tea and coffee symposium in Shanghai and attracted a lot of buyers for PNG coffee.

He said Mr Lee, a major coffee dealer in Asia, visited PNGCGF and its coffee farmers in Eastern Highlands and Morobe provinces last month.

Mr Yogiyo said the Taiwanese coffee dealer was impresses with the local organic coffee prompting him to immediately place orders for his stores in Taiwan and China.

Mr Yogiyo said the promotion of PNG coffee done by PNGCGF since its inception in 2003 had brought PNG coffee to the attention of the world’s coffee traders.

This led to more orders for PNG coffee from overseas, he said.

"Unfortunately, PNG’s annual coffee export figure fell over the last two years to well below the one million bags," Mr Yogiyo said.

He called on industry stakeholders to acknowledge this decline and work together to increase export.

Mr Yogiyo had also urged the Coffee Industry Corp (CIC) and the National Government to come up with innovative ways to encourage growers to go back to their coffee farms.

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