“Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is a winner!” It is no secret that Jamaica Blue Mountain is the king of exotic gourmet coffees. As the Government of Jamaica seeks to “build strategic partnerships to support Jamaica’s post COVID recovery and resilience, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAFT) and Caribbean Export have decided to continue their collaboration towards strengthening the coffee industry. The project’s official launch took place today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade head office.
Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, gave the opening remarks. During her speech, she spoke about the importance and benefits of this new initiative. Not only will it strengthen our economic sector, but it will also provide opportunities for our citizens and pave the way for relationships with other markets.
The Honourable Dr Norman Dunn, MP and Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, was delighted to bring remarks. He boasted about our coffee being “the Ferrari of coffees”. He praised its sophisticated qualities as well as the superior flavour and appearance. Minister Dunn further shared that coffee cultivation and production generated approximately 17 million USD per year for the last three years. Despite the pandemic and the fall in the economy, coffee has a contender as it remained a top income generator for families and organisations. In closing, Dr Dunn implored Jamaicans to explore this champion sector so the nation can realise and take advantage of the international demand.
His speech laid the perfect foundation for Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. According to Senator Smith, the partnership between Jamaica and the Caribbean Export spans for more than 25 years. Moreover, this dynamic and active relationship has yielded significant success over the years. She expressed her gratitude coupled with commitment in continuing the partnership to provide more jobs in our nation. Senator Smith could not end her address without “bigging up” the European Union in true Jamaican style.
Coffee Export Stages
Mr Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, had the distinct honour of introducing the morning’s presenter. In the same spirit as the previous addressees, Mr Maharaj shared his joy about the partnership. He described the European market as one of the biggest international markets and the perfect home for Jamaican coffee. He committed to making recommendations to continue fanning the flame beneath our top tier product.
Mr Chris Docherty is the Managing Director of Windward Commodities. He clarified the project for “Enhancing the Export Competitiveness of Jamaican Coffee Exports to the EU Market.” The Windward Commodities are no stranger to the Caribbean’s Agriculture Industry. Mr Docherty spoke about the previous Caribbean and African projects that his company headed:
In his’ short and spicy’ presentation, Mr Docherty explained the different phases and their composition. The project is currently in phase one, “Macro Scoping”, expected to be completed by February 24th. This phase includes tightening relationships with stakeholders, producers, investors and institutions. The remaining three stages are highlighted below:
The President of Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA), Mr Norman Grant, gave the penultimate remarks. Mr Grant spoke about the perfect timing of this partnership as the nation celebrated its fourth annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day on January 19th. He also urged the heads of government to protect the various partnerships and engage other markets in our product as “the coffee industry will be the champion of the Jamaican economy.” He ended by thanking the investors and stakeholders, including Ambassador Symone Betton Nayo, who provided the closing remarks.
Altogether, the future of the coffee industry is bright. In fact, endless possibilities and opportunities await our youth and farmers. Therefore, if you or someone you know possess interest in becoming a part of the industry, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade or JCEA for more information.