Jamaica’s Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Pearnal Charles Jr, announced at an event honouring Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee that the country is looking to expand its export base and production of the famous product.
The event, called Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Day, took place on the 21st of January. There were virtual celebrations by the Jamaican Consulate General, the Japanese Consulate General, and other representatives from the United States.
One of the tasks to achieve the newly set goals, includes targeting markets like the United States. Currently, the US makes up 20% of exports, while Japan makes up 70%, and Europe and the rest of the world make up the remaining 10%.
Charles Jr believes that this brand of Jamaican coffee is “unmatched in quality and flavour profile”. Despite the challenges the coffee industry is currently facing, specifically, a decline in production from 530,000 boxes in 2004 to 220,000 in the 2021/22 crop year, he believes that the production of crops is still feasible.
The cultivation and production of coffee have been a stable agricultural activity for Jamaica, generating foreign exchange earnings of up to US$17 million per year for the last three years. The industry is profitable, and it translates into one that supports and improves the quality of lives of our coffee farmers and their families.Charles Jr, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister
Japan first celebrated JMCB Day on the 9th of January 2019, to commemorate when it received its largest shipment of coffee in 1967. In addition to celebrating Jamaican coffee’s world-famous brand, the festival also commemorates Jamaica’s relationship with Japan, which began with the first Jamaican coffee imports in the early 1950s.
Apart from proving that there is a demand for Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in Japan, this relationship between the two nations, resulted in Japan supporting the goals by enhancing the technical capacity of Jamaica’s farmers through a variety of initiatives, including environmentally-friendly coffee production.