Papua New Guinea Korofeigu Organic comes to us from the Korofeigu Farmer's Cooperative Society. This group is located in the Bena Bena Valley of the Eastern Highlands, between Goroka to the west and Henganofi to the east.
The Korofeigu community was one of the first suppliers for NKG’s New Guinea Highlands Coffee Exports (NGHCE). The supply chain formalized itself into a cooperative in reaction to the Organic certification program in 2010. Since then, the coop — which may be a cooperative in name and practice, though not as an officially registered entity, which is common in the region— has grown from 97 certified smallholder producers (some of whom are seen above, near a nursery) farming area of 112 hectares to more than 1,700 farming around 2,000 hectares as of 2020.
This rapid growth illustrates how impactful the Korofeigu Organic certification program has been on the livelihood of participants. In addition to higher premiums for their coffee, they have access to farmer trainings, as well as regular social and healthcare workshops. In recent years, NGHCE began a program to assist farmers in obtaining their Organic certification. This coffee is the product of this initiative, which also provides extensive work on HIV/AIDS prevention, financial management, gender equality awareness, coffee husbandry and certification standards and procedures.
Regional Coffee History
In early 1945, as the war in New Guinea was subsiding, four village plots in the Korofeigu area were identified by the administration for coffee planting by the villages. Thirteen teenage villagers from Korofeigu and other surrounding areas were selected to be sent to a newly created school for training in coffee production. For the next 12 months, government officials moved around the Eastern Highlands selecting village plots and encouraging them to plant seedlings while continuing to train the youth of these areas. The initial reaction of the indigenous population was indifference; in a bountiful valley that could produce so much, it was thought that a crop that would take three years to harvest a return was a waste of time. Although some plots were neglected, none were removed, allowing the beginning of a coffee-farming culture in this area.
From these small plantings in and around Korofeigu, coffee has become the most important commodity. Today, it is Papua New Guinea's most important agricultural crop, directly or indirectly providing the major source of income for a third of the country’s population.
Our supplier and sister export company, New Guinea Highlands Coffee Exports (NGHCE), has had business relationship with farmers in the Korofeigu area since the company was created in 1992, but members of the company have been trading coffee within the area since the 1960s.
Cultivation and Processing
The mountainous and moist area, rich with native shade trees, is ideal for coffee cultivation. A mix of the Arusha and Bourbon varieties grow in the loamy soil at an altitude ranging between 1400-1800 meters above sea level by numerous small holder producers. Papua New Guinea Korofeigu Organic is harvested from April to September.
Wet processing is done at the farm using clean water from nearby springs. Cherries are hand-picked and pulped the same day. Next, the coffee is fermented in small vats or buckets for 36-48hrs. Then, the coffee is fully washed. The parchment is then dried — oftentimes on beds constructed from simple bush materials — for up to a week. Farmers bring their dried parchment to the collection point where it changes ownership at premium price levels. Further processing of the parchment is done at NGHCE’s own mill in Goroka.
Cupping notes: Caramel, citrus, cranberry; tropical, savory and juicy.