Organic coffee journeys in the highlands
September 25, 2015 12:40 am
A village in the province of Nadroga is taking steps to produce Fiji’s first community owned organic coffee beans.
The village in the highlands of Sigatoka recently established its Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of organic certification.
Villagers received training from the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) housed within the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Participating in organic certification will link their coffee to buyers in New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia and possibly the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
POETCom Organic Systems Extension Officer – Stephen Hazelman says as villagers convert to organic principles they become active participants in the growth of green economies.
Hazelman says the certification of the villagers’ coffee should be concluded by the end of the year ahead of the start of the 2016 coffee harvest season in February.
On successfully completing the certification process, the community and the Bula Coffee Company will be allowed to use the Organic Pasifika mark that guarantees the organic integrity of a product that bears it.
Fijian- owned Bula Coffee Company as the village’s sole coffee buyer is providing crucial market linkages.