EU to help Fiji's coffee industry post Winston

The European Union is providing help to restore Fiji's coffee industry in the wake of Cyclone Winston.

The co-founder of Bula Coffee, Luke Fryett, has a newly acquired mobile coffee processor which allows the company to expand its coffee supply base to isolated locations in Vanua Levu, thus increasing its coffee supply and offering farmers new income opportunities.

The coffee processor was bought by the EU's Funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade Project as part of its Winston recovery initiative, which was implemented by the Pacific Community.

In 2016, Bula Coffee was on track to harvest 60 tonnes of coffee beans from farms in Viti Levu, but the category five Cyclone Winston wiped them out, forcing the company to import beans from Papua New Guinea to keep its roasting operation going.

Luke Fryett said the mobile processor means they can process the beans at the coffee plantations and so cut the amount of spoilage that occurs during transportation.

The EU's head of co-operation in the Pacific, Christoph Wagner, said coffee was a viable option for many Fiji farmers looking to diversify, especially now that a market, though small, had opened up through Bula Coffee.


Photo: supplied Fiji coffee being processed on site