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Move to filter Jamaica coffee through region


shadiasimpson, [email protected]

Move to filter Jamaica coffee through region

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BARBADOS and other Caribbean islands have been identified as prime markets for the premium Blue Mountain Coffee out of Jamaica.
And if Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited – producers of the Jablum brand – has its way, the Jamaican coffee could soon filter through the rest of the region.
This is according to managing director and chief executive officer Senator Norman Grant, who told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that greater use of the Jamaican-produced coffee should result in an increase in the region’s coffee farmers.
“A lot of the coffee we consume throughout the Caribbean is coffee that is grown and manufactured outside the region, and we think that there is a tremendous market within the Caribbean to offer great Jamaican-experience coffee to people in the region which will help us to get more farmers to grow more coffee and help the economies of the region to be stronger,” he said.
“So you are going to find, over the next two years, a major push by Mavis Bank with our Jablum brand, introducing it in all the supermarket chains here in Barbados and Trinidad as a part of increasing the value to our farmers and as a strategy to consolidate the demand for our Blue Mountain coffee,” added Grant.
In 2010 the governing body for the local coffee industry, the Coffee Industry Board (CIB), embarked on a programme to cultivate other markets apart from Japan, the predominant destination for the Jamaican elite Blue Mountain Coffee brand.
Japan has purchased an average of 85 per cent of the island’s coffee for the last ten years.
Grant said his company has been “actively participating” in the national diversification programme and they hoped to better market the Jablum brand across the Caribbean especially.
“What we believe is that Barbados is a prime market for great Caribbean coffee shops,” he said.
He said, however, while a cup of freshly brewed Blue Mountain Coffee could sell for as much as US$8 per cup in Japan and US$20 in some shops in China, one of the challenges would be to get Caribbean people to pay the cost.
“Our challenge here is to share with our Caribbean consumers the value of drinking a fine cup of coffee and be willing to pay for it. But it is a journey which we have started and are prepared to keep pace with as long as it takes,” he promised.
Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited is the largest processor of Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica. They purchase beans from about 6 000 coffee farmers and control about 45 per cent of the market. There are about 18 coffee dealers on the island. (MM)

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