Duffy’s prepares to take Papua New Guinea coffee to China


Five years after opening the first of three Duffy’s cafés in Port Moresby, owner and entrepreneur Travers Chue is preparing to expand overseas, marketing Papua New Guinea specialty coffee and premium health products.

Duffy’s Travers Chue.

‘When we first started Duffy’s, our goal was to create the first specialty coffee house in PNG, but now we want to manufacture premium health products in PNG and export them to China and across the globe,’ says Duffy’s owner, Travers Chue.

Chue tells Business Advantage PNG he plans to open his first outlet in China’s southern city of Guangzhou by the middle of 2018. At present, he is finalising an exact location.

The project is being funded through the family-owned, PNG-based parent company, Pacific Industries Ltd.

Starting in China

‘We are planning to kick off very modestly in China with one store, which will be approximately 150–200 square metres.

‘Once we get our feet wet and learn the ropes of doing business in China, then—only then—do we plan to spread our wings.

‘The plan is to use our café business, which hopefully will have several outlets, to distribute these products to the Chinese market.

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‘We have so much potential for exports with our rich and resourceful land. Businesses in PNG should be focusing on capitalising on this … rather than just relying on the domestic market.’

‘These products will range from coconut water from Rabaul—as we can piggy back off our existing Pacific Industries beverage manufacturing plant situated in Rabaul town—cocoa from Bougainville to make chocolate, bottled water from one of PNG’s many pristine water sources and we are even looking at organic honey from the Highlands.’

Export potential

Chue is a firm believer in PNG and the export potential of its pristine products.

‘We have so much potential for exports with our rich and resourceful land. Businesses in PNG should be focusing on capitalising on this and trying to expand their operations outside of the country rather than just relying on the domestic market.’

Chue’s approach to expanding to China is based around being a coffee shop and coffee brand that originates ‘from this exotic and mysterious land called PNG’.

The secret, he says, is producing consistently high quality beans.

He praises the Coffee Industry Corporation for its annual PNG Cupping Competition.

‘We are trying to teach the farmers that, if their coffee is getting higher cupping scores due to implementing and following strict procedures and practice, then we—the roasters—are willing to pay higher prices for their hard work.

‘Growers need to see that there is more profit to be made in producing higher grade coffee, from which they can earn more bang for buck per kilo of cherry.’

He says it is the only way coffee farmers can overcome poor infrastructure, erratic weather conditions, deteriorating tools and minimal training.

‘Most people who know PNG most probably know the country for its great coffee—and we intend serving them the best premium grade specialty coffee that PNG has to offer. This is going to be key to success in China.

‘It makes me very proud to look back at my family’s history and to know that something my grandfather started before WWII on Rabaul now has the potential to go international.’


  1. pana Wiya says

    All I want to say is, how is the grower going to benefit?? Remember the grower has done over 90% of the work on the coffee chain and at present the grower is ONLY receiving 2-5% of the retail prices we see around the globe, even in PNG.


  2. China market has entry regulations. There are bureaucratic processes that need to be fulfilled before exporting. Duffy has be registered with China customs before exporting quality beans there and for the other exporters thinking of entering the lucrative China market. China’s expanding middle class with colossal disposable income is willing to spend on luxury and not hesitant to try new lifestyle. Food scares resulting from industry pollution is placing more emphasis on imports as consumers become Increasingly aware of personal health. Catch this opportunity as it passes. Am willing to offer my assistance at a minimum cost for market entry requirements.

  3. Tom Kukhang says

    We need more Duffy’s with credible production base. The Chinese coffee market is on the rise and very profitable. For the last ten year the increase has been on 16% per annum, it has beaten Japan and Australia in consumption volume. Its own production from the southern highlands of China has also beaten Kenya and Tanzania’s annual production. It has 1.4b people but its per capita coffee consumption is only 83 g per person per year while Hong Kong is at 2Kg per year per person and the USA at 4.4Kg per year per person in 2015. While Japan’s coffee consumption has more less stagnated recently at 7m bags, the Chinese market is on the rise with more disposable income from the increasing middle class to spend on coffee. We need to build a presence in China and we need more Duffy’s.

  4. Coffee market is the country’s biggest problem……thanks so much Duffy! For your plan to connected big market to png.

  5. I would like to contact and wish to invite to share their experience to our Business School Students.

    Faculty- IBS University

  6. Well done and a great move, Duffys !

  7. Hi there,
    I would like to discuss the possibilities of JV partner for China we are already establishing business and trade .

  8. It is good to learn that one of Papua New Guinea’s own company has the drive to set up in PR China southern city of Guangzhou. PR China is a traditional tea consumers it needs the courage and determination to market in the competitive environment of this capitalist city. So to say. Go Duffy’s Cafe (Pacific Industries, PI).

  9. Potaisa Hombunaka says

    I am indeed glad of this superp intervention which had been lacking. Whilst I was Caretaker Secretary, Dept of Agriculture & Livestock in 2014 I attended APEC meeting in Guangzhou and had a side bilateral meeting with counterpart there. This market accessible issue by PNGn company to China was discussed. Great that there is now positive move in that direction.

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