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US to import $18 million worth of Indonesian coffee in 2016

Indonesia was highlighted as the “Home of the World’s Finest Coffee” at the Specialty Association Coffee of America in Atlanta

JAKARTA, Indonesia – All eyes are on Indonesian coffee.

The Specialty Association Coffee of America (SCAA) highlighted Indonesia as the home of the finest coffee in an expo from April 14 to 17 in Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta.

It culminated in the United States signing contracts to import $18 million (241 billion rupiah) worth of Indonesian coffee this year. The contracts were signed by Delima Hasri Azahari, representative of the association of specialty coffee from Indonesia and representatives of Royal Coffee US.

Nus Nuzulia Ishak, the Director General of the National Export Development from the Ministry of Trade, noted that SCAA’s designation of Indonesia as a Portrait Country will boost the development of the coffee industry.

It will also help further cooperation with international stakeholders, which would help catapult efforts to strengthen the sustainable coffee industry in Indonesia.

“Indonesia thoroughly selected 17 fine specialty coffees that originated from different island across Indonesia’s vast archipelago, such as Sumatera, Java, Sulawesi, Flores, and Bali,” Nuzulia said, referring to the coffee it showcased at the expo.

He also explained that the Indonesian coffee industry places a high value on sustainability and ethical sourcing throughout the supply chain.

Moenardji Soedargo, chairman of Sustainable Coffee Platform Indonesia (SCOPI) however, clarified that there is still work to be done in that aspect.

He said there is a “coffee deficit” around the world, “so there is room for Indonesia coffee to fill in [the void] under the condition that the productivity issue is addressed seriously.”

Soedargo also said Indonesian coffee must have a “brand,” and should be popularized for its high quality and sustainable coffee production.

“You can see here in the exhibit pavillion, other countries presenting their nation’s brand. From Colombia to Brazil to Costa Rica. Even though they originate from different provinces of their country, people recognize their nation’s brand. While Indonesia is known by [various names like] Sumatera Coffee, Toraja Sulawesi Coffee and so on,” Soedargo told Rappler.

Throughout the event, Indonesia held a series of lectures about Indonesian coffee that served as an informative platform for the richness and uniqueness of the widely diverse Indonesian specialty coffee for coffee lovers.

Indonesia also conducted an auction and coffee cupping for the 17 finest coffees at the pavilion throughout the expo.

According to Statistics Indonesia, Indonesia exported a total of 65.5 million kilogram of coffee valued at $281 million to the US in 2015.

Indonesia ranked as the fourth largest supplier of coffee last year, exporting approximately 500 million kilograms of coffee, valued at $1.2 billion. – Rappler.com