Timor-Leste Fairtrade Coffee Project

Timor coffee project

In September, Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand’s Producer Support Officer, Will Valverde, visited Timor-Leste to train members of a local Fairtrade coffee cooperative on their newly installed wet coffee mill and coffee huller. 

This new technology offers an alternative to the strenuous and time-consuming manual processing methods, and allows members of Cooperativa Comercio Agricola de Timor (C-CAT) to improve the quality and consistency of their coffee, and  achieve higher standards of their coffeeAccess to new technology will add value to C-CAT’s coffee, now the organistion can offer green bean, instead of parchment to its buyers.

“There is a lot of opportunity here to increase job prospects for C-CAT members, as activities such as processing the coffee, sorting beans and packaging can be done by local people, instead of commissioned to people in Dili, this will provide tangible benefits to the community, the organisation and its members,” explains Will.

Cooperativa Comercio Agricola de Timor (C-CAT) is a Fairtrade pre-applicant producer organisation comprised of 107 coffee growing members in the mountainous nation of Timor-Leste. The organisation is participating in Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand’s pilot project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which aims to facilitate market access for smallholder coffee producers in Timor-Leste. The results of the pilot will inform future Fairtrade interventions, with the objective of increasing C-CAT’s access to market and increasing its members’ income.

The wet mill gives C-CAT the opportunity to diversify their coffee production whilst maintaining the quality of the different processes, such as fully washed, honey processing and fermentation.

“C-CAT’s initial trials came back with promising results. With a bit more training, C-CAT will be able to offer the market a great variety of Fairtrade certified coffee,” says Will.