NSLIC/NSELRED Project conducted two days ‘Ijen Coffee Business Meeting” to connect the coffee farmer groups from Banyuwangi, Bondowoso, Situbondo, Yogyakarta, and Bali, with domestic investors and government officials on June 19 and 20 in Banyuwangi. Day one began in the enchanting surroundings of Omah Kopi Telemung Ijen coffee plantation. After a convivial introduction to coffee cherry-picking in the field, the serious discussions started on the difficulties and challenges faced by the local farmers’ groups. Instability of the local prices, limited access to market information, high fees for organic certification, and difficult access to finance and technology to tackle the climate change were identified as the main concerns. The National Government officials addressed these issues by providing various programs to help farmers get better information on the available public financing and market access as well as the possibility to share the Village Fund for improving the local agriculture.
The second day event was held in Kokoon Hotel Banyuwangi for a deeper discussion among domestic investors, national and local government, and 18 groups of coffee farmers. The high-level representatives from the national ministries, including the special attendance of the Vice Minister of Trade and the Head of Banyuwangi Regency, also took part in these talks. After many insightful and productive exchanges between the participants, investors signed several MoUs to buy more local coffee and to provide capacity-building to the local farmer groups, with a focus on digital marketing. The government officials expressed their great appreciation for the Canadian government’s support to improve the investment climate and the regional/local economic development. To close the event, a coffee-cupping session took place to test, evaluate, and score the flavor of farmers’ coffee. This served as a great networking and business opportunity and was also a way to stress on the importance of coffee consistency and quality for domestic buyers.