Highlands Organic Agriculture Corporative (HOAC) is the longest Fairtrade certified organisation in the Pacific, and since 2005. With the support of partners, such as Grinders Coffee Roasters, HOAC have reinvested back into developing their business and community development projects benefitting over 15,100 people in the region.
Ronah Peve is a member of the Highlands Organic Agriculture Cooperative (HOAC), located in the remote Okapa regions of Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG). She works as a farmer and extension officer – traditionally a man’s job.
“In Papua New Guinea, coffee is something that men talk about, […] but I have been trying my best and now women in the village come to me for advice about caring for their coffee trees. They see it is not only a man’s job,” Ronah said.
The investment has seen the restoration of 35kms of roads which, if not fixed, could have impeded the transport and quality of the coffee. Prior to this restoration, HOAC members had to travel long distances to transport their coffee. However, now transport costs have been reduced by up to 50 per cent enabling members to invest more income into their family and communities.
With the support of Grinders Coffee Roasters, HOAC members also identified secure housing as an issue with traditional homes rebuilt every five years due to the weakening of thatching roofs made from kunai grass. The grass was becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Members distributed 12 sheets of iron roofing to 200 households, providing longer lasting and durable homes. The new homes will enable families and their communities to separate spaces for cooking, sleeping and storing coffee; increasing their individual health and that of their families.