30 May 2011

PNG coffee boom puts pressure on processors

1:28 pm on 30 May 2011

A coffee factory manager in Papua New Guinea says a good crop and high prices are putting pressure on processors.

Favourable weather conditions have led to expectations PNG will produce more than 60,000 tonnes of coffee this year, while coffee prices of 2 US dollars and 60 cents per pound are double that of last year.

The acting factory manager at the Airport Coffee Mill in Goroka, Grant Jephcott, says a high volume of coffee has come in over the last 45 days with all the provinces picking and harvesting.

He says the higher prices have also led growers to send their coffee in quickly without drying it thoroughly, which is slowing down work at the factories.

"So it's a two fold, the volume is considerably more intense at the moment as well as the slightly wetter coffee, it's taking longer to dry the coffee through the factories, so that's been slowing down the processing rates. There's not a single factory that isn't under pressure at the moment, no."

But Grant Jephcott says the coffee will still be processed without impact on quality, as it stores well in the Highlands.