MINISTER of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green is aiming to expand the reach of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee brand internationally and increase production of coffee locally.
Green said yesterday that he intends to facilitate a close working relationship among several stakeholders in the industry. They include the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA) and State agencies such as the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro).
“We also want to work with our partners such as the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee and right here the local Embassy of Japan and our friends in Japan,” Minister Green said.
He was delivering remarks at a virtual joint ceremony of the eve of the third anniversary of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, held at the offices of the Consulate General of Jamaica in New York, yesterday.
The minister indicated that while coffee recorded an increase of 12 per cent last year, the aim is to get to 31 per cent by 2025.
A number of steps, he said, will be taken to ensure this happens. They include the expansion of nurseries so that farmers have clean and climate-resilient planting material, providing greater technical support to farmers and processors, the exploration of new markets, and ensuring that coffee farmers get a fair price for their product.
The minister expressed gratitude to the people of Japan for the interest shown in Jamaica's coffee and for being the largest importer, with that market accounting for roughly 70 per cent of Jamaica's coffee exports.
Meanwhile, president of the JCEA, Norman Grant, said his organisation wants to intensify the marketing strategy to preserve and grow existing markets such as the United States, which accounts for only 20 per cent of the exports of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee.
Grant also indicated that a local campaign has been launched to improve the consumption of coffee locally.
The JCEA president is also aiming to increase the production of coffee from 30 boxes per acre to an average of 90 boxes per acre to increase the overall production of Jamaican coffee from 250,000 to 350,000 boxes by the year 2025.
And president of Jampro Diane Edwards said that her agency remains committed to increasing exports of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee to the United States and Europe.
“As the Government's trade and investment promotions agency, we are eager to see more coffee growers, greater coffee production and ultimately, more exports of our treasured coffee. Therefore, we have partnered with the JCEA and JACRA in bringing greater visibility to this prized product and brand with the celebrations of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day,” she said.
Celebrated on January 9 each year, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day highlights Jamaica's strong bilateral partnership with Japan and the increasing prominence of the coffee on the international market, including the United States.
The day also commemorates the first large shipment of coffee beans from Jamaica to Japan on January 9, 1967.