Bula Coffee staff operating the mobile Coffee Processing unit that was purchased by the IACT Project
Today, Bula Coffee co-founder, Luke Fryett, displayed the newly acquired mobile coffee processor in Nadroumai Village (Nadroga Province), which will allow Bula Coffee to expand its coffee supply base to isolated locations in Vanua Levu, thus increasing the company's coffee supply and offering farmers new income opportunities.
The coffee processor was purchased by the European Union Funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) Project as part of their TC Winston Recovery Action initiative, which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).
In 2016, Bula Coffee was on track to harvest 60 tonnes of coffee beans from farms in Viti Levu. TC Winston destroyed the coffee harvest in Viti Levu overnight and the company had to import coffee beans from Papua New Guinea in order to keep its coffee roasting operations going.
To strengthen their market supply chain, the IACT Project, which supported agribusinesses in Fiji re-establishing their disrupted value chains in the aftermath of TC Winston, assisted Bula Coffee in securing its coffee bean supply base.
”In the past, it was difficult to source coffee beans from Vanua Levu because the quality of the beans suffered tremendously during the transportation phase. With a mobile coffee processor, we are able to process the coffee beans at the site of coffee plantations, which will decrease the amount of spoilage during transportation,” co-founder of Bula Coffee, Luke Fryett, said.
"The EU is proud to support the coffee value chain in Fiji. The mobile wet coffee processor will provide tangible benefits to both Bula Coffee and to farmers on Vanua Levu. Bula Coffee will be able to secure and expand its coffee beans supply, thereby helping the young company increase its coffee production and hopefully unlock new export markets. Farmers in remote areas will now be able to enter a promising new value chain by supplying coffee cherries, which previously were often left unharvested", said Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific.
‘Coffee is more drought and wind resistant than many fresh produce crops. It represents a viable option for many farmers looking to diversify their crops, especially now that a market, though small, has opened up through Bula Coffee. We hope the increase in coffee supply will encourage other coffee exporters to invest in the unique brand of coffee offered by Fiji. This will establish healthy market competition, which will benefit farmers financially and improve their livelihoods’ SPC Chief Advisor, Patricia Sachs Cornish said.
In addition to the mobile wet coffee processor, Bula Coffee was assisted with nursery equipment, two shade houses with integrated irrigation systems and a sack stitcher.
Vivita Matanimeke, SPC Communications Assistant, [email protected] or +679 337 0733