- COO, Fairtrade Asia Pacific welcomed all the participants and summarised the agenda for the Forum.
- Producer Representatives from the Asia pacific region shared their achievements and challenges.
- Trader representatives; Ewan Reid from Matthew Algie (UK), Daniel Priscilla from DR Weikfield (UK), Stephen Stratfort from Kokako roasters (New Zealand), Pham Ngoc Bang from Dakman (Vietnam) gave presentations where they shared their experiences of working in the Fairtrade system.
- Rene (Fairtrade International), Mirjam (Fairtrade ANZ), Yamazaki (Fairtrade Japan), Alexander Bornat (Fairtrade Germany) and Senthil Nathan (NAPP) shared prevailing trends in various markets, developments and challenges faced by Fairtrade and discussed ways to boost Fairtrade demand/market at the consumer side.
- Producers gave a status update of the Fairtrade premium projects in their areas and emphasized on the need to increase their market access for Arabica and Robusta. Mr Hao, representative of Vietnam coffee producers said that demand for Fairtrade Robusta from Vietnam is low and the price being offered is inadequate.
- Armiadi, another producer representative from Indonesia said that in the course of last decade benefits from Fairtrade have significantly contracted. He also highlighted that this was also largely due to increase in competition has resulted in fall in sales.
- Laos producers, represented by Mr. Kitam, shared that although green bean is considered as main business for Laos producers, there is positive development on ground coffee for export and domestic market.
- Representative from Papua New Guinea expressed that isolation and connectivity are still top challenges faced by their members. In order to support working capital requirements of the producers, there is a need to improve Fairtrade pre-financing mechanism.
- Hence, to summarize, apart from very few positive developments highlighted by Laos some of the key reasons cited for decline in coffee sales from Asia Pacific were:
- increase in competition
- issues of productivity and quality due to climate change
- lack of adequate working capital
- low prices
Fairtrade System Perspectives
- In German market there are around 350 Fairtrade certified coffee products; of which 50% are branded, and another 50% are private labels. Nearly 72% of them are organic certified. However, the most popular coffee comes from Peru and Honduras. Only Indonesian coffee from Asia Pacific is on the top 10 origins list imported by top 6 countries. The consumption of coffee in Germany has increased by more than 21.4% in the last 3 years and can grow further. There is huge scope of sale for Asia Pacific Fairtrade coffee in Germany.
- Fairtrade Japan shared that there is a declining trend in consumption of instant coffee in Japan and an increase in consumption of specialty coffee. South Korea has also shown a growth in their coffee consumption and is projected to be a larger consumer than Japan in the future. However there is a need to popularize the Fairtrade brand in Japan and South Korea.
- Australia and New Zealand are growing markets for Fairtrade. A total of 63,000 MT conventional coffee is imported to Australia and 6,000 MT to New Zealand. Fairtrade is an ethical and trusted brands in these countries. However, Fairtrade is facing competition from other ethical labels. Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand focus is on 2 main strategies to build market for Fairtrade products:
- Create awareness and demand by conducting communication and promotional activities.
- Grow sales by supporting (new) supply chain partners.
There were two simultaneous meetings on the second day of the Fairtrade Asia Pacific Coffee Forum. First meeting was for certified producers. The second meeting was for Fairtrade business partners.
Meeting 1: Fairtrade Asia Pacific Coffee Program and Governance
At this meeting, the representatives of Asia Pacific Coffee Producer Network were elected. Its members are:
- Hasbi (Mr.), from Sara Ate Cooperative in Indonesia. Hasbi was elected as Chairperson of the Fairtrade Asia Pacific coffee forum
- Ara Siberani (Mr), from Arinagata Cooperative in Indonesia
- Daniel Kinne (Mr), from Highland Agriculture Coop fin Papua New Guinea
- Gildo Carmo Santos (Mr), from CCT cooperative in Timor Leste
- Laddawa (Mrs), from Doi Chaang cooperative in Thailand
- Nguyen Huu Ha (Mr), from Thuan An Agricultural Fair Cooperative in Vietnam
- Fr John Joseph (Mr), from WWWS cooperative in India
- Kitam (Mr.) From Rattapraseud Nhouyvanisvong in Laos.
Meeting 2: Building Stronger Fairtrade Asia Pacific Supply Chain
- The discussion among the business partners can be summarized into three questions that they want to be further developed for a future framework to build stronger supply chain for Asia Pacific Coffee, which are:
- How do we (the entire supply chain and Fairtrade system) expand demand for Fairtrade coffee?
- How do we communicate quality from roaster and traders to producers?
- How do we improve the link between producers and the market?
- Some suggestions revolved around exploring local markets while other around addressing issues of costs and competition in the supply chain along with availability of updated Fairtrade producer profiles.
“A show case” of 20 samples of Arabica and Robusta from Asia Pacific region were presented during the Forum. These samples received positive response.