Neknasi Coffee Growers Cooperative

Overview

Neknasi was proud to achieve Fairtrade Certification in May of 2011. Its members are committed to improving the livelihood of their communities through the sustainable production of Fairtrade Certified coffee.

Founded in 2008, Neknasi Coffee Growers Cooperative Society is comprised of approximately 492 coffee-producing members located in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. The association is made up of eight villages and approximately 43 tribes. It is estimated that over 2000 people benefit from services provided by the association.

The association produces an average of 120 tonnes of green bean each year, and the Board estimates it will increase to 300 tonnes by the end of 2014.

Fairtrade Impact: 

The Fairtrade Premium is the sum of money paid on top of the agreed price for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects that meet the needs of producer groups.

Neknasi achieved Fairtrade Certification in May of 2011, and in December 2011, they received AUD 8,000 in Fairtrade Premium. The Board members report that Neknasi is developing a plan to use its first Fairtrade Premium to expand and improve its current water supply system to include coffee gardens close to members’ villages. In the near future, the cooperative will increase production levels as a result of their recent vehicle purchase and improvements in sustainable farm management practices such as weeding and pruning. The Board also reports that Neknasi has plans to increase association membership.  

Currently, Neknasi’s only export crop is coffee, however it is developing its vanilla production and hopes to export vanilla under Fairtrade Certification in the future.

In the future Neknasi plan to use the Premium to invest in the following problem areas::

  • High levels of illiteracy among farmers due to expensive school fees and the remote location of primary and secondary schools.
  • Endemic health issues such as malaria and complications during childbirth, and the corresponding  lack of sufficient medical supplies and convenient health centres.
  • Remote mountainous locations, which translate into high transport costs, lower prices to producers, and difficulties in achieving access to markets.


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