Northern Rivers sells coffee overseas
March 27, 2005 - 11:49AM
SMH Online.

Australians are set to get a taste of what the world cant get enough of - one of northern NSWs premium coffee brands.

The Northern Rivers Coffee Projects said it has sold all of its 2003 and 2004 harvests to overseas buyers.

But it has reserved a portion of its 2004 yield to introduce its premium coffee to the Australian market.

Projects 32-tonne 2004 harvest of its Arabica coffee was bought by San Francisco coffee roaster Mountanos Brothers.

Mountanos is currently negotiating to increase this quantity to 100 tonne per annum.

Projects director Frank Cassells said he wants to see the product become a local as well as an international success.

"There is an excellent market for locally grown coffee in Australia and we are passionate about tapping into this opportunity and developing our brand both nationally and internationally," Mr Cassells said.

"Australians are avid consumers of coffee with an annual consumption exceeding 55 thousand tonnes; virtually all of which is imported."

Projects produces 20 per cent of Australias coffee and 30 per cent of its exports.

Mr Cassells anticipates that as the plantation matures over the next three years, it will represent 40 per cent of Australias production and over 60 per cent of all exports.

To realise these growth goals, the plantation has established Northern Rivers Coffee Projects 3 - a managed investment scheme offering business income from coffee production and a shareholding in the landowning entity.

Through the landholding entity, investors effectively own the land on which the coffee plantation is established.

Mr Cassells said to date the projects have attracted considerable interest.

"A growing awareness of Australian coffee at the premium end of the domestic and export markets has resulted in the industry attracting significant capital investment," he said.

Currently there is around 600 hectares of coffee planted in Australia which at maturity will produce about 1,200 tonnes.