Monpi has invested in sustainability and collaboration with our supply chains through a dedicated department within the company since 2008 – Monpi Sustainable Services. Due to its success and potential for growth, in 2013 Monpi’s sustainability investments became Sustainable Management Services PNG (SMS-PNG); an independent entity fully focussed on sustainability and certification. This concept of an SMS unit as a separate entity is in line with the global sustainability investments of Monpi’s international partner ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd.
This means that Monpi’s supply chains joined the ranks of other SMS operations in coffee producing countries, accessing markets, sharing experiences and best practices to be able to better service our supply chains and to increase access to global certified and/or specialty markets for PNG’s sustainably produced coffee. Sustainable Management Services PNG operates as a service provider for Monpi’s supply chain and contributes to sustainable livelihoods by providing training on the best agricultural, environmental, social and healthcare practices in coffee-growing communities. In this way we actively work on improving the livelihoods of coffee producers throughout Papua New Guinea.
Our SMS operation has grown to a dedicated crew of 28 staff; 19 Extension Officers plus drivers, trainers and a small support and admin staff to maintain our code of conduct and chain of custody requirements. The team is ‘in the field’ almost continuously to maximise the time spent with our farming communities. It is a massive task, and due to the success and sustainability of our approach we are proud to see our certified and sustainable supply chain continue to grow each year.
A Sustainable Future …
SMS-PNG is dedicated to developing sustainable supply chains and advocates the responsible production and trade of coffee with respect for people and the environment.
SMS-PNG works closely with Monpi’s suppliers on a variety of extension programs. Throughout the year it delivers tailor-made training modules focussed on best agricultural, environmental and social practices and guides the supply chains and collaborating mills through the complex procedures and requirements of a multitude of internationally recognised certification standards. In addition to training and support to improve production or prepare for a Certified status, special attention is given to the approach of families as a business unit and the role that women play in the production of coffee. With this intense collaboration SMS-PNG and Monpi facilitate access to specialty markets at premium price levels for its farmers and in that way directly add value to the supply chain, helping to secure a productive future for generations to come.
Supporting Our Producers …
SMS-PNG operates small but intensive farmer extension services appropriate for Papua New Guinea’s culture and traditions, contributing to the empowerment of these communities.
SMS-PNG Field Officers have on-going contact with the community through field visits, project inspections, new farmer registrations and training courses on best practices. These are often focused on farm compliance with a certification standard and financial and business literacy training for the smallholder families
SMS-PNG is continuously looking for opportunities to further diversify its community development programs and collaborates with Government and Non-Government Organisations. This includes programs with the World Bank, IFC, CARE International, Digicel Foundation, ECOM Foundation and some direct-to-producer support relations with speciality roasters.
Certification You Can Trust …
With Monpi’s certified coffee, you know that the coffee you buy and drink was produced not only with care for the product but also with care for the community and the environment that produces it. Better yet, by choosing this coffee you guarantee a better price for the local coffee producer and contribute to sustainable coffee production and to the livelihood of the coffee growers in Papua New Guinea.
Monpi was the first Exporter in PNG to acquire the well known Rainforest Alliance Certification for its supply chain. Rainforest Alliance aims to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour towards more a sustainable approach. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms have reduced environmental footprints, are good neighbours to human and wild communities and are often integral parts of regional conservation initiatives. The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal is a guarantee that coffee is grown on farms where forests are protected; rivers, soils and wildlife are conserved; and where workers are treated with respect, paid decent wages, properly equipped and given access to education and medical care.
The UTZ is a worldwide leading certification program for responsible coffee production and sourcing. UTZ aims to set a world standard for responsible coffee production practices and achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains where farmers are professionals implementing the best agricultural practices.
This leads not only to better businesses and better coffee, but also contributes to access to world markets, sustainable community development and responsibility towards the environment. The certified coffee answers two important questions for coffee buyers and consumers – where does the coffee come from? And how was it produced? In other words, ensuring transparency, traceability and production practices according to world standards.
Organic Certified (NOP/EU)
While the majority of Papua New Guinea’s smallholder coffees may de-facto be produced organically, Monpi has opted for two Organic certification standards to acknowledge the organic status of some of our finest supply chains. Monpi complies with USA (National Organic Program) and EU standards. These Organic certifications assure best environmental practices, food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare standards, as well as the requirement to keep all farmland in good agricultural and environmental condition.
The world-renowned Fairtrade label is awarded to certified associations and cooperatives and aims to contribute to community development by enabling disadvantaged farmer groups to invest in their communities. This is possible by guaranteeing a premium price on top of the market price. The premium is invested in social, environmental or economic development projects, decided upon democratically by producers within the farmers’ organisation. Monpi Coffee Exports realised its first Fairtrade network in 2009.
In addition to these internationally recognised certification standards, SMS and Monpi also work with large roasters who have their own globally acknowledged certification programs or specific requirements to sustainability and certification, e.g. Starbucks and Nestle.
Social welfare and healthcare
It is our belief that investing in education and healthcare is essential for a sustainable relationship with our suppliers and for the overall development of PNG’s smallholder communities. SMS-PNG invests in education programs and healthcare awareness for Monpi’s smallholder networks. We are proud to be able to send out a Healthcare Awareness team (including a registered nurse) as an integral part of our team of extension officers. The team specialises in HIV-AIDS awareness and related socio/economic issues. The awareness program also addresses general healthcare, venereal diseases and gender equity issues. Follow-up visits provide additional services including workshops exclusively for women and one-on-one counselling.
Sustainable Management Services also engages in various educational development programs throughout Papua New Guinea. SMS-PNG co-sponsors various schools and community centres within its supplier networks. Results are rewarding as access to education and education resources cannot be taken for granted in the remote communities of Papua New Guinea.
These community development projects could not have been realised without the help of many of Monpi’s generous clients who are willing to invest in the smallholder farmers of Papua New Guinea. The collaboration with corporate initiatives and the generous help of various Non-Government Organisations has proven invaluable. The results from our community development programs have been very rewarding and have strengthened Monpi’s commitment to continue and expand our extension programs.
In developing countries, opportunities for disabled workers are relatively limited. In 2005, Monpi was looking for someone with excellent sensory perception to taste and analyse their coffee – a process known as ‘liquoring’. We found that person in Conchitta Basse, who was a Grade 8 student at the Mt. Sion School For The Blind Centre in Goroka.
While Conchitta’s vision is impaired, her senses of smell and taste are second to none. All our coffee is put through a quality control process where Conchitta and the other members of our quality control team ensure the quality of the grind before it is sent to our valued suppliers.
Conchitta’s tasting skills were acknowledged in 2007 when she won the award for Best Coffee Cupper in PNG, presented by the Coffee Industry Corporation. Conchitta remains an important member of the Monpi family and is now our lead cupper, having completed her Q-grader course in Sydney.