Kunjin is a centralized plantation mill that purchases cherry from smallholder farmers in the highlands. With central milling and drying, our partners on the ground control quality at the processing level — day lots are cupped and separated to build our containers and lots which are microlot worthy are processed separately.
Papua New Guinea is an extremely diverse country, with over 800 different languages spoken. Most of the tribes from the highlands didn’t have contact with the western world until the 1930s, since early exploration in PNG had been minimal until then. PNG is now a paradox, caught between Western influence and indigenous traditions.
Commercial coffee production started in Papua New Guinea in the 1920s, with seeds brought from Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, a Typica variety. At that time, most of the coffee production came from 18 large plantations. Plantations still exist in PNG, but that type of farming only accounts for 15% of the total production; most of the production now comes from smallholders who tend to their “coffee gardens,” as they call them locally. The smallholders are subsistence farmers (meaning they live off their land), and they also grow coffee—there are no coffee farmers, per se. Each garden might have anywhere from a couple to a couple hundred trees of coffee, and parchment deliveries can range from 25–65 kg.
Kunjin comes from smallholders between 1,400–1,800 meters, from the Waghi Valley in Western Highlands, in close proximity to the town of Mount Hagen.