The delegation, comprising of specialist coffee connoisseurs, represented some leading coffee roasting, brewing and cafeteria chains in major metropolises in Japan.
The eleven-man team, comprising of 9 males and 2 females, was made possible courtesy of MG Corporation (MGC) of Japan, a major partner of the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and one of PNG’s specialty coffee importers.
In a statement, the CIC said: "The group may have come here to sample and authenticate PNG’s coffee quality from respective coffee origins, however, some of them are coffee entrepreneurs themselves, while others are professional coffee connoisseurs or tasters. Therefore, sampling and grading of PNG’s origin coffee by the 11 experts opens opportunities for the establishment of new and direct market accessibilities for PNG’s coffee growing/producing communities."
Japanese team leader, Nobuo Matsuki, said members of the delegation were impressed with the quality of coffees that they sampled during the tour.
During the tour, the delegation sampled coffees coming in from Milne Bay, Morobe, Eastern Highlands and Jiwaka provinces.
The delegation started their tour in Lae, visiting CIC’s Lae facilities where all coffees destined for export are stringently analysed to determine quality and grading. They later visited the Freight Management Service warehouse, where the visitors were told of how PNG’s export bound coffees were carefully shipped under strict quarantine practices.
The delegation, spearheaded by CIC’s general manager (Research & Growers Services Division) and his deputy, then travelled to Aiyura, CIC HQ in Goroka.
In Bena outside Goroka, the delegation was given a rousing welcome by villagers of Sakanuga. Further to Jiwaka Province, where MGC imports most of its coffee through the father and son team of John and Mark Munnul entrepreneurship, known as Kosem Coffee, the Japanese were given a guided tour of the Kosem coffee factory, including specially graded coffee packed and ready for shipment to Japan.
Meanwhile on Sunday, two Japanese soil experts arrived in Goroka after they were ushered in from Port Moresby.
They will spend some time in the different disciplines of soil analysing before advising CIC on best ways to cultivate coffees in different geographical and topographical settings.