Business

Marley Coffee appoints industry veteran to lead distribution

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter

Sunday, October 14, 2012    

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MARLEY Coffee has appointed Chris Hopkins to lead the distribution of the product.

In his new role, as senior vice-president (SVP) of national accounts, Hopkins will be responsible for the growth of the brand in supermarkets, speciality retailers and convenience stores throughout the US, the company announced last week.

The industry veteran had been instrumental in driving drive sales of Marley's Mello Mood, a 100 per cent natural drink that comes in teas and sodas, as SVP of national accounts at Marley Beverages. Marley's Mellow Mood has grown to almost three million cases after two years in the market against the background of Hopkins securing distributions and partnerships with 80 of the top 100 retail outlets, including 7 Eleven, Kroger and Wegmans.

Rohan Marley, founder of Marley Coffee said Hopkins's passion to see a brand (Marley's Mello Mood) grow fast showed that Hopkins was right for the job.

"I'm happy we were able to convince Chris to join our team at Marley Coffee as we continue to build our retail distribution in the US and beyond," Marley said.

JAMMIN Java, which trades as Marley Coffee, saw its revenue growth speed up during the three months to July 31.

The company is still in the take-off stage of its growth, having just started selling coffee in January last year.

"I'm thrilled to be a part of the Marley Coffee movement, and expect to be able to take this brand to the next level nationally," said Hopkins.

So far, Marley Coffee has not made a profit, and has racked up losses of US$4.9 million ($441 million) since it opened shop.

Until it gets profitable, Jammin Java will rely on a credit arrangement with TCA Global Credit Master Fund and an investment agreement with Fairhills Capital Offshore, both Cayman-registered companies.

The agreements allow the company to borrow up to US$2 million from TCA and sell up to US$2-million worth of its shares to Fairhills.

All Marley Coffee products live up to the Rastafari standards of ITAL, standing for all things Pure, True and Vital.

A portion of all sales of Marley Coffee supports Coffee, Kicks for Cause and aims to build football fields and camps for children of coffee-producing communities in Jamaica.

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