A writer once said “Banz Kofi is like no other coffee in the world,” and so they say “Hail to the KING of BEANS!  The quoted writer was no doubt referring to the King of Beans from Papua New Guinea, Patrick Killoran, a coffee entrepreneur from Mt Hagen in the Western Province of the Highlands of PNG. Mr Killoran started Banz Kofi in 1990, later changing direction to becoming a coffee roaster in 2007.  He added to the operation by building the Banz Kofi Café and exporting internationally.

Banz Kofi is touted as the leading premium brand in Papua New Guinea, the company taking pride in one of its successes – The Banz Kofi single origin roast.

Patrons describe it as having a rich, soft acidy and quietly complex taste with distinct floral notes and a crisp, subtle fruity scent that suggests Riesling table wine or perhaps black currant. A blend worth sharing all over the world.

Which it will do when Banz Kofi showcases at the Caffe Culture Show from 16-17 October in Islington, London.

It’s the second time round for Banz Kofi attending the UK’s leading trade-only annual event for 200 exhibitors and more than 4000 trade only coffee experts from independent café owners, buyers and decision makers from branded chains.

Banz Kofi is one of three Pacific Island food and beverage companies invited to exhibit at the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Europe office’s booth led by Trade Promotions Advisor Robyn Ekstrom. The other two Pacific Island companies include a bottled water company from Fiji and a turmeric drink producer from Samoa.

Patrick Killoran at a previous food show in Auckland.

Hitting two birds with one stone, Mr Killoran will then head over to Paris for SIAL 2018, one of Europe’s biggest Food and Beverage exhibitions also under the PTI Europe umbrella.

“With their support Banz Kofi will be exhibiting for the second time at the Caffe Culture Show 2018 in Islington and SIAL 2018 in Paris.”

Banz Kofi is made from Arabica beans, grown by local farmers in Mt Hagen who still use traditional, organic growing methods.  The company buys, processes, roasts and packs the beans at the Banz Kofi factory in Mt Hagen.  They use an innovative approach to good packaging, a one-way valve on packages that lets gases out to keep coffee fresh for stand-up pouches and Nespresso machine-friendly biodegradable capsules. All packaging is HACCP approved.

Over the years Banz Kofi has been distributed in Papua New Guinea, primarily in hotels, including Airways Hotel, the leading hotel in PNG, sought-after cafes such as The Edge & Brown Bean and ‘A little something’ from PNG Duty Free stores.  Exports have gone to different parts of Australia, Cambodia, New Zealand and Estonia. In the past two years, there has been an emerging demand from the United States, Fiji, Cook Islands and other European Countries – all very promising markets.  However, Mr Killoran acknowledges the hurdles with being part of an emerging nation such as Papua New Guinea.

“The constant work on achieving better freight rates and time efficient procedures from third party providers must be taken into consideration,” he said.

“Banz Kofi unceasingly strives to maintain consistency with product quality and good service to compensate,” he added.

“Citations is one of the many tangible proofs of how PTI has helped,” Mr Killoran said.

Several dignitaries have given Banz Kofi citations — the Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton amongst them.

Banz Kofi also achieved HACCP certification in April – making it the only PNG coffee roaster to so.

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certificate is an internationally recognised quality mark for food safety standards.  Getting HACCP certification is impressive.  It requires strict high standards are met and it is expensive to get.

Importantly HACCP smooths a pathway into the lucrative international food and beverage market, opening doors, that is often harder for those without it.

“The accreditation gave Banz Kofi the edge and the preferred choice especially for companies who strictly follow international food safety standards,” Mr Killoran said.

But growing micro businesses like Banz Kofi in the Pacific Islands is helped by initiatives pushing them into the big leagues.

Pacific Trade Invest offices have been with Banz Kofi over the past few years.  The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) programme have also provided significant help towards HACCP Certification.

“Banz Kofi attending these high target events signals sincere interest in doing business – and not just quick – random sales. Surely, hard work will pave the way for new opportunities,” Mr Killoran said.

“Giving the market an option shows how keen Banz Kofi is to set elbow to elbow with big brands. PTI’s initiatives will enable more people to connect and open endless possibilities with a cup of Banz Kofi!”

Banz Kofi is also studying a new coffee roast. The new blend will cater to other markets enabling the brand to be globally competitive.

For more information please contact Robyn Ekstrom, Trade Promotions Adviser, PTI Europe on robyn.ekstrom@pifs-geneva.ch

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