A lucrative sector

FIJI’s coffee culture has grown slowly over the years with more locals picking up the trend of catching up at café shops.

However, the demand for an early morning coffee has always been a mainstay for the tourism industry.

And this habit of the tourist market makes it a lucrative sector for local coffee distributors and manufacturers.

Local distributor of imported coffee beans Yees Group of Companies operations manager Chris Yee said Fiji’s coffee culture developed in the tourism industry.

“Realistically speaking with the coffee business in Fiji, the bulk of it is in our resorts because it’s the tourists that drink most of the coffee,” he said.

“The culture in Fiji now in terms of coffee drinking is slowly getting there but it’s not quite at the level that is the same as the tourism industry.

“In the tourism industry, we have people coming in from Australia and New Zealand who can drink coffee up to three or four times a day.

“And they come here and also have a cup of coffee so they expect it to be at least as good as what they have back home.”

He said the thriving coffee culture in the tourism industry had also resulted in a demand for local baristas.

“If a well-trained barista had to go to any resort to ask for a job they would get it.

“Training and being able to deliver a proper product is very important.”

He said businesses that included cafés were investing in training baristas.

“You won’t be able to sell your coffee if it’s not made well.

“You have to teach the people that make the coffee and also take note of the global trends because we have all of these different people coming to our country and tourists and they will have a certain preference to their coffee.”

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