KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government is examining long term solutions to place the coffee industry in a better position in the future.
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Audley Shaw, said among the solutions suggested is the reduction of infringements on the Jamaica Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain coffee trademarks on the international scene, as well as locally, through the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).
It also includes variety monitoring activities to ensure adaptability and disease resistance.
Twenty varieties of coffee being evaluated
“Variety trials have, so far, been carried out on two farms… one in the Blue Mountain region and the other in the Jamaica High Mountain region. Approximately 20 varieties are being evaluated with quality evaluations slated to begin shortly,” Shaw said.
Shaw’s remarks were read by Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry Daryl Vaz to launch Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU, which was signed by JAMPRO, JACRA and the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association, establishes a formal framework to guide a promotional campaign and marketing strategy to support the Jamaica Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain coffees.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, to be observed on January 9 between Jamaica and Japan, is being held in recognition of the formidable relationship forged between the two countries since 1953 when Jamaica sent its first shipment of coffee to the Asian country.
It also marks the day the largest shipment of coffee left the port of Kingston en route to Japan in 1967.
Other solutions being examined are the implementation of a coffee nursery policy to guide the way nurseries operate, in order to adequately regulate and monitor varieties that are cultivated; and the establishment of a coffee training institute, aimed at certifying the regulatory cup testers.
“The (nursery) policy is currently in its draft stage and will be completed by the first quarter of the financial year 2019. The regulatory cup testers would lead the way as certified trainers for the industry stakeholders, including coffee shop personnel, coffee makers in hotels and restaurants,” Shaw said, adding that the training institute will be fully operational by September.