Tanna Island lies within the archipelago of Vanuatu. More than 80 islands make up Vanuatu and are a direct result of Pacific Rim tectonic plate upheaval, this upheaval is also the reason for the active volcano Mt Yasur and her two dormant sisters on Tanna Island. Tanna Island is on a similar latitude to Townsville and Fiji and is placed in the southern latitude of the Vanuatu Islands.
Unlike most coffee farmers around the world, the farmers of Tanna Island share in the dried green bean sale price. Normally farmers sell their parchment coffee [unprocessed coffee] to a local buyer where it’s processed into a naked bean, (Dried Green Bean). INIK Co-op collects the dry parchment before JV partner, Tanna Coffee Plantations, processes the coffee into the naked bean. They then hold and sell the dried green bean for the best price possible.
The INIK co-op and Tanna Coffee Plantations meet regularly and decide how any profit will be spent. Whether it be bonuses for the growers, training programs, new coffee plants, loans, or new machinery. This means that Tanna Island Coffee supersedes fairtrade guidelines with ease.
Although the plateau of Tanna Island is only 3-400 meters above sea level the South East trades and cool nights allow the Coffee and other plants to bathe every night, in warm, moist conditions. The warm, South East air is what makes these coffee plants so similar to their high altitude counterparts. Being further away from the equatorial influence balances out the altitude difference, so that this coffee may rate as one of the best in the world. Being so close to Australia and New Zealand (only a two and a half to three hour flight), one may even consider calling this coffee, their ‘local coffee’.
Once the sweet cherry ripens to a wonderful crimson red they are handpicked, put through a hand pulper within 6 hours of harvest and fermented for approximately 24 hours. This is done either in one of the Co-op processing stations or in the farmer’s home or village.
This totally organic coffee typifies the symbiotic relationship between a subsistence grower and the cash crop needs of the wonderful Kustom people. The soils are volcanic ash, free draining and high in pot ash, thus allowing the coffee grown on Tanna Island to exhibit beautiful smooth, full bodied, nutty chocolate flavours without a bitter after taste.
To purchase, Vanuatu Coffee