October was an exciting month for Fairtrade in the Pacific, as we ushered in not one but two newly certified producer organisations. This brings the total number of Fairtrade certified groups in the Pacific to 16.
Komkul and Untpina are both coffee-producing cooperatives hailing from Papua New Guinea’s central highlands, an area well known for its fertile soils and excellent agricultural outputs.
Komkul means ‘rain from the valley’ and this modest cooperative of just 52 members takes its name from its lush surroundings deep within the heartlands of Jiwaka Province. Despite Komkul’s humble membership, the cooperative has big dreams for provincial expansion. The group would like to see their organisation grow to encompass most, if not all, the coffee farmers in their region. They are confident that through Fairtrade certification, their increased organisational capacity and ability to finance new farming equipment with the help of Fairtrade Premium, earnings will quickly inspire surrounding farmers to get involved. With ambition that reaches all the way to the peaks of the mountains that surround their valley, there is little doubt that Komkul will achieve their goals.
Untpina was established in the early 2000s and its membership of 106 farmers can be found in Kukbaga district, in the Western Highlands Province. Inspired by a strong sense of community spirit, Untpina recently decided to work towards Fairtrade certification in order to stimulate development within their region. The cooperative is determined that the benefits they will receive from partnering with Fairtrade will be utilised to increase access to social services, such as schools, churches and health posts. This kind of heartfelt commitment is rare, and Fairtrade ANZ is proud to be able to share this journey with Untpina as they strive towards improving their place in the world.
Thanks to Fairtrade ANZ’s latest collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which aims to create new market connections for Papua New Guinea producers, we are confident that both these cooperatives are destined for great things. Welcome to the Fairtrade family, Komkul and Untpina!