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Highland Organic Agriculture Cooperative (HOAC) is one of the oldest Fairtrade Certified organisations in Oceania.
After more than 6 years as part of the Fairtrade System, the organisation has improved its administrative structure, increased its production volume and invested its Fairtrade Premium in education and water infrastructure for its communities.
Registered in 2003, HOAC is an association of 2,600 coffee growers, some of which are certified organic by NASAA, located in remote regions of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. It is estimated that between 50,000 to 60,000 people receive benefits from the association.
HOAC’s production levels have been increasing significantly each year, growing from 200 tons of green bean in 2005 to 946 tons in 2012. HOAC’s exporter, Coffee Connections, forecasts a production of over 1,000 tons from HOAC by the end of 20124.
The Fairtrade Premium is the sum of money paid on top of the agreed price for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects, and is meant to address needs faced by producer groups.
HOAC achieved Fairtrade certification in 2005, and has used its Fairtrade Premium to provide assistance to schools and contribute to water infrastructure projects in its communities. In recent years, HOAC has worked closely with local government and the Eastern Highlands Province governor to achieve road improvements in region. The association plans to focus on investment in coffee quality improvements in the coming year, thanks to the introduction of coffee pulpers that have been distributed to members.
In the future Hoac plan to use the Premium to invest in the following problem areas: