Tonga’s Tupu’anga coffee and cassava chips will be great new additions to the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand’s Pacific Hub at the Auckland Food Show. They will also showcase coconut oil products from a long-established Tongan community living in the Lau group of islands in Fiji.
Tupu’anga Coffee from the Kingdom of Tonga, is a family owned and operated Fair Trade and social enterprise owned by Emeline Afeaki-Mafileo and her husband Alipate Mafileo.
Tupu’anga’s organically and sustainably grown coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans grown in plantations on the islands of ‘Eua and Ha’apai.
The company prides itself on the Farm to Cup side of its business. Mr Mafileo, who has a background in agriculture, is the grower and farm manager and also oversees all aspects of Tupu’anga’s coffee production. The green beans are harvested from the Tupu’anga plantation and sourced from 5-6 other coffee growing farms. They use a commercial coffee bean roaster to roast the beans. Their business has become so successful they have recently opened a new café at the plantation and are quickly becoming one of Tonga’s tourist attractions.
Tupu’anga’s cassava chips, known as manioke chips, are the company’s biggest sellers in Tonga. To make the manioke chips, they buy fresh cassava daily from local growers. They have had to expand to 50 acres of manioke in Alipate’s Kolonga Village in Tongatapu to keep up with the growing demand. They have worked hard to get the quality and taste right and want to export more to New Zealand.
Mr Mafileo is responsible for supplying Tupu’anga Coffee and Manioke chips to Auckland City’s Community Cafes at the Mangere Arts Centre and Mt Roskill in Auckland. The Community Cafes are social enterprises are run by Mr and Mrs Afeaki-Mafileo under the company name AW.
Mrs Afeaki-Mafileo is the founder of Affirming Works, a mentoring and educational programme working with young people based in South Auckland starting in 2001. The business changed names from Affirming Works to AW. Mr Mafileo now runs the coffee business in Tonga whilst Mrs Afeaki-Mafileo runs the mentoring side of the business. Mrs Afeaki-Mafileo is a trained social worker and the writer for the Tongan Family Family Violence Conceptual Framework and Training Manual for Family Violence Practitioners. She was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award in 2006.