No compensation for Mavis Bank Coffee Factory over flood loss

Saturday, March 18, 2017

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Norman Grant, CEO of Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, says the factory is still awaiting compensation from the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) for coffee lost during flooding on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston in September 2016.

An estimated 30 per cent of the year’s crop was lost when three warehouses were inundated during heavy rains. The beans — the property of several local producers — were awaiting shipment to markets abroad.

Grant said that all producers affected by the flooding of the CIB warehouse suffered losses totalling some $350 million. To date, $100 million has been paid in part settlement.

Grant told the Jamaica Observer: "Mavis Bank has received nothing out of the $100 million…for which we were disappointed."

Mavis Bank Coffee Factory (MBCF), self-described as Jamaica’s largest and only fully integrated Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee facility, produces and processes approximately 1.4 million pounds of green beans, mostly sourced from over 6,000 farmers.

"Mavis Bank lost in the region of US$2.2 million. We were the ones who were significantly affected," Grant stated.

The CEO explained that while the company independently had some insurance, "…we received only US$1 million, and there is still exposure that needs to be covered."

Grant said the root of the problem lies in the inadequate coverage for coffee stored by the CIB.

"What we were informed was that the CIB did not have adequate insurance. As a result, they sourced some support from the Ministry of Agriculture which provided an injection of $100 million.

"The Coffee Industry Board has accepted liability for an unexposed amount and has proposed settlement over a period of time," he said.

The CIB , he said, has promised payment over 12 months.

Insured with General Accident Insurance Company, the CIB has been unable to secure compensation for the flood, as the insurance company says that the claims were not consistent with the value and terms of the insurance coverage.

It was later revealed that the comprehensive insurance had been reduced over time.

Attempts by the Business Observer to reach new chairman Gusland McCook for an update were unsuccessful, as he was said to be in a meeting.

— Avia Collinder




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