The Jakarta Post
The government is seeking to promote Indonesian coffee and boost coffee exports, particularly to the US, by confirming its participation at an exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia, in April.
The exhibition, to be organized by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), will have Indonesian specialty coffee as the main theme.
Indonesia's participation in the expo is expected to boost coffee exports by 10 percent to US$1.4 billion this year.
'The target can be achieved provided there's no major weather change this year as coffee is sensitive to weather,' Trade Ministry director general for national export development Nus Nuzulia Ishak said on Wednesday.
The ministry is confident the event will help increase coffee exports. The US, which has a per capita coffee consumption of 4.2 kilograms per annum, has taken over from Europe as the biggest importer of Indonesian coffee in recent years.
The US accounted for 22 percent of Indonesia's total coffee exports, at $1.12 billion as of November 2015.
In addition, the Trade Ministry has also created the remarkableindonesiancoffee.com website and promoted the #indonesiaiscoffee campaign on social media as marketing tools.
The government will spend about Rp 1 billion ($74,000) to participate in the Atlanta exhibition.
'The event will be opened by a speech, narrating the story of how local coffee is planted and processed. We'll also have 12 booths and two cupping, or testing, areas and will auction the 10 best specialty coffees tested by independent curator Caswell's,' said Nuzulia.
A coffee variant is classified as a specialty if it achieves a cupping score equal of at least 80 out of 100.
Those between 71 and 79 are classed as premium and those at 70 or below as commercial, according to Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia (AKSI).
A cupping score comprises 10 criteria: aroma, flavor, acidity, body, uniformity, cup cleanliness, after taste, balance, sweetness and overall points.
'Specialty coffee can boost export values as the prices are much higher,' said Syafrudin, AKSI chairman.
He added that Indonesia has dozens of types of specialty coffee, all of which fall under the Arabica classification or those planted in highlands.
Around 25 percent of Arabica coffee in the country are specialty coffee types.
Every coffee-producing island ' Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores (East Nusa Tenggara), Papua and Sulawesi ' had its own specialty coffee, including Gayo, Mandailing, Kintamani, Temanggung, Ciwidey, Manglayang, Wamena, Toraja and Gowa, he said.
'And we are now planning to make more specialty coffees from Robusta [those planted on lower lands] by guiding our farmers to produce better quality,' he added.
According to the Industry Ministry data, 76.7 percent of the 685,000 tons of coffee produced in 2014 was of the Robusta variety and the remainder was Arabica.
Experts and officials estimate that production decreased to roughly 450,000 tons last year due to prolonged drought and old plantations.
'This year, we'll replace old vegetation with young ones to make them more productive,' Nuzulia said.
Boosting the coffee harvest is important amid the rise in both domestic and foreign consumption.
Local consumption increased to 250,000 tons in 2014, compared to 200,000 tons in 2011.
The value of Indonesian coffee exports to emerging countries, such as South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines, China and Algeria has surged by between 106 and 208 percent, Trade Ministry data show. (rbk)
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