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House of Coffee / Newsletter  / Papua New Guinea: UK Trade Partnership Programme. (and the Rugby)

Papua New Guinea: UK Trade Partnership Programme. (and the Rugby)

On 25th of last month, some 15 or so UK coffee roasters were nestled into a hotel conference room in Warrington. The PNG rugby league team were in the hotel and no doubt munching on steel bars for brunch in preparation for their must win game with The Cook Islands.

Hosting our intimate encounter were: Mick Wheeler O.B.E., European Ambassador for the PNG Coffee Industry; and Colin Smith former President of the Speciality Coffee Assoc. of Europe.

The Commissioner of PNG to the UK, together with EU and local dignatories, were also in attendance.

The intiative behind this event sits within the desire of the UK International Trade Centre to promote trade between the UK and the EU with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Needless to say this was a fascinating, educational, enjoyable, rewarding and enlightening experience: Cupping, history lessons, facets and challenges of the PNG coffee industry, chats with fellow roasters, But there was one lasting impression that was the finest takeaway:

The finest takeway was a feeling of kinship! When we come together, and despite the crazy difference between the lifestyles and experience of people from all over the world , we are so alike. We bond when we meet under the same circumstances. Time and time again this happens in our industry. Coffee is a medium, great by itself, but so often it forms a bridge between people. Whether ‘meeting a friend for a coffee’ or , in this case, ‘meeting people from a land far far away.’

We take it for granted that we can collect our raw coffee from Tilbury docks, but in Warrington, we ‘travelled’ to the source, thousands of miles away.

We finished our day with Rugby League and PNG did not let us down! (we hope that the PNG Commisioner found his children by the way:they wandered off in the crowd at one stage!) PNG face England on Saturday and we had better be on top of our game!

We will follow this article with features and promotion on PNG coffees.

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