Saturday 21 May 2022

Timor-Leste forms first coffee industry Association

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DILI, Timor-Leste  – Key stakeholders representing all segments of Timor-Leste’s coffee industry have come together to form the first professional coffee trade association in the producing origin’s two hundred-year history.

The Timor-Leste Coffee Association (Assosiasaun Café Timor-Leste – ACTL – in Tetun) will be formally registered this year with the vision of becoming a voluntary association of members, working together for the Timor-Leste coffee industry in order to increase the volume, and improve the value of coffees sold for export and domestic consumption.

Twenty-four industry members met at a workshop in Dili, September 19-23, to develop a vision, strategic plan, structure and governance model for the new association, which is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Market Development Facility (MDF).

“More than 25% of all households in Timor-Leste grow coffee and there is huge potential to improve production and quality” commented Paolo Spantigati, ADB Country Director for Timor-Leste. “This private sector initiative will support planning and implementation of activities to develop the coffee sector and improve farmers’ lives.”

The association development process was facilitated by Specialty Coffee Association of America co-founder and Coffee Quality Institute consultant Ted Lingle, who led the weeklong workshop, which was attended by representatives of coffee farming groups, cooperatives, coffee traders, exporters, roasters and retailers.

Said ACTL spokesperson, Evangelino Monteiro Soares, “Revitalization of the country’s coffee agriculture sector was agreed to be the primary mission of the association, which it will achieve through member training, industry capacity-building initiatives and the establishment of quality standards. ACTL will be the unified voice representing Timor-Leste’s coffee trade domestically and when promoting the Timor-Leste coffee origin brand overseas.”

The group’s first activity will be a cupping competition and national coffee festival planned for December 1, 2016, featuring a professional conference program with international speakers and consumer exhibition area for roasters and retailers to market Timorese coffee.

Timor-Leste is well known within the coffee industry as the origin of the Hibrido de Timor variety of coffee, prized not only for its cup characteristics, disease resistance and productivity.

About the Timor-Leste Coffee Association (Assosiasaun Café Timor-Leste – ACTL)

Founded in 2016, ACTL is a private sector association of volunteers working together based on mutual respect, honesty, transparency and equal representation.

The association’s membership supports a common goal of revitalizing the Timor-Leste coffee farm sector by serving as the unified source for industry standards, industry advocacy, media representation, and international brand development for Timorese coffee, while offering capacity development and best practices training for farmers and other members of the industry.

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