Gray Cafe brings coffee from Papua New Guinea’s Daga region in Milne Bay to Pasifika 2018 in Auckland this month.

Gray Coffee’s range of coffee from PNG’s Daga region.

Though coffee has been grown in the Daga region for the past forty years, it is only recently that the people of region have been able to get their produce to the country’s bigger urban markets, owing to the region’s remoteness. Gray Café started out as Daga Organics, selling roasted beans and ground coffee.

Graydon Francis of Gray Café says “tonnes of the coffee were simply burned” in the past because the native growers were not able to get their produce across to the markets due to difficult access. Even when access was finally made available, the costs were high enough for the coffee to be uncompetitive.

However, its unique aroma and quality is what has helped coffee from the Daga region to find favour with discerning coffee drinkers. Mr Francis hopes that his participation through the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Pasifika Business Market at the Pasifika Festival will help his coffee find its way into cafes in New Zealand and Australia.

At its booth, Gray Café and Daga Organics will display and sell roasted ground beans in packets of 100g, 250g, 500g and 1kg as also a small range of other organic products that the company produces and sells in PNG.

The logistics of getting the coffee to market is challenging.

“It took me ten years to experiment with the commodity from tree to parchment to packet and then to cup. It always takes a while to develop any product,” he says. He invites coffee-loving New Zealanders to his booth to sample its “very unique natural aroma and fruitiness.”

Mr Francis has attended PTI NZ’s Path to Market in PNG and is looking forward to participating in Pasifika, which is the next step in the Path to Market programme. “I am hoping to establish contact with many coffee consumers in New Zealand and then around the world and introduce them to our very organic coffee that is coining from this unique region. Hopefully they can take Daga Coffee to the world and promote it. That’ll help the people of our region.”

Mr Francis is keen to share information of both his product and his region. He will be bringing along some informational material about the region including a short video about the coffee farms and the people of Daga, which he is keen to showcase to Kiwis.

Mr Francis says PTI NZ’s Path to Market programme has been beneficial to Gray Café in terms of knowledge about branding and marketing. “Without PTI we couldn’t have come this far not only to sell coffee but also to help our people back home.”

He says in future the company plans to launch a range of new organic products such as cosmetic scrubs, bath soaps and tea all of which are in various stages of development.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at

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