Terry Adlington, Managing Director of Tanna Coffee Development speaks to Chefs4Dev about the organic certification of 1000 farmers on this distinct coffee growing island in Vanuatu. This important milestone comes after 157 years of coffee growing on Tanna island.
Mr Adlington was taking part in the first ever Pacific Week of Agriculture (16-20th October 2017, Port Vila, Vanuatu), where he spoke about "Strengthening the supply capacity in quality and branding" during a workshop on Agritourism Opportunities in the Pacific.
[Chefs4Dev] What difference does certification make for your production?
The Organic Certification of more than 1,000 small-holder coffee farmers on Tanna Island who are directly associated with our Tanna Coffee Company, is the end result of an enormous amount of work and effort by all relevant stakeholders and supporters of the Coffee Industry during the past 2 years.
Tanna Island possesses a truly unique environment that is 100% pest and disease free, where all coffee produced has been organically grown utilising traditional farming methods for well over 150 years. However, due to the very high number and remoteness of these small-holder farmers, along with the enormous costs and logistics problems associated with third party certification, the possibility of achieving 'Organic Certification' was seen to be virtually impossible until the 'Participatory Guarantee System' (PGS) was unveiled.
Have you been able to identify new markets as a result?
Tanna Coffee has always proudly stated that it was 'Organically Grown' (but was not certified) and even though the certification of our farmers and the coffee occurred less than one ago, the international reputation that 'Tanna coffee' already has will be enhanced with the new organic certification.
It is now envisaged (and well known) that this recent certification will certainly unlock good opportunities and a certain level of new customers for the Company and the Coffee Industry where many customers are now becoming increasingly aware of organic, ethical and sustainable products and look for 100% pure organically certified products in Health Food stores and high-end Supermarkets.
What are the benefits of certified products in terms of accessing tourist markets? Do you already see a positive impact?
In terms of our local sales I cannot envisage any significant changes, as we currently hold an 85% market-share of satisfied customers, however I feel our Tourist Market sales should increase, as these new visitors to Vanuatu who do not know or have never tasted our Tanna Coffee are quite well educated in organic, ethical and sustainable products and many will appreciate the product accordingly.
- Read the full Chefs4Dev interview with Terry Adlington, Managing Director of Tanna Coffee Development. Co. Ltd. http://bit.ly/2gQjxlf
- Read the article "1000 coffee growers in Vanuatu certified organic" http://bit.ly/2yoyVfJ