Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, renowned for its rich, smooth flavour and impeccable quality, symbolises the island’s natural bounty. Grown in the unique climatic conditions of the Blue Mountains, this coffee stands out as an iconic brand among coffee purveyors thanks to its consistently high quality.
As we commemorate Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee (JBMC) Day, we recognise one of the world’s finest coffees and highlight a unique trade and development partnership between Jamaica and Japan. This enduring partnership is a testament to the power of shared passions and international friendship that several coffee stakeholders in both countries nurtured.
This year marks the 6th anniversary of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, which was initiated in 2019 by the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC). JBMC Day has been endorsed by the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association and is celebrated annually following a proclamation by the Jamaica Governor-General of Jamaica.
Why January 9? The date marks the red-letter day in 1967 when Japan first received the largest shipment of our “winning beans”. In January each year, the AJIJC commemorates the historic moment that marked the beginning of Japan importing more than 70 per cent of Jamaica’s coffee production.
Through its ongoing economic diplomacy and cultural partnership efforts, the Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo has played a pivotal role in promoting Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee in Japan – and 2023 was quite an active year of collaboration in its promotional work, which included the 2023 Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ) World Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition. While visiting Japan for the 2023 SCAJ event, the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory (MBCF) Limited partnered with the Embassy to host a memorable dinner in Tokyo, celebrating Japan’s 70-year status as the primary importer of Jamaican coffee.
This event also saw the MBCF honouring 11 Japanese importers, including members of the AJIJC, symbolising the deep-rooted connection between the two nations forged by the coffee trade. The Embassy’s efforts were recognised with a plaque from the MBCF, underscoring its vital role in nurturing this important trade relationship.
7-Eleven in Japan
In a significant move to further promote Jamaican coffee, Ambassador Shorna-Kay Richards collaborated with 7-Eleven Japan, UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. to launch a Blue Mountain Coffee Blend. Since the announcement at last November’s press conference, the limited blend has been available in over 21,000 7-Eleven stores across Japan. The promotion, which runs from November 2023 to the end of January 2024, features Jamaica-themed branding and is a key strategy in amplifying Brand Jamaica in the Japanese market.
On January 23 this year, the Embassy, in collaboration with AJIJC and Connect Worldwide Japan (representative of the Jamaica Tourist Board in Japan), will host a seminar and cocktail party for trade and lifestyle VIP Media. The 60th anniversary of Jamaica-Japan diplomatic relations and the second Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year make JBMC Day a significant event.
Later this month, the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami will host the inaugural Jamaica Brew Festival on January 20 to celebrate Jamaican arts, culture and coffee. Consul General Oliver Mair will host this vibrant event and feature book readings and signings by Jamaican authors and poets, screenings of short films by Jamaican filmmakers, and a showcase of Jamaica’s renowned coffee. The festival, held during Jamaica’s Coffee Day, promotes Jamaican coffee and our dynamic brand.
In recognising Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, underscores the significance of the coffee trade to the Jamaica-Japan Partnership. She said this collaboration is a concrete manifestation of the Ministry’s dedication to the economic diplomacy programme (EDP). The Foreign Ministry and JAMPRO use the EDP to promote trade and investment through Jamaica’s Overseas Missions. The Minister welcomed the ongoing EDP partnership, which has bolstered the Ministry’s execution of Jamaica’s foreign policy in support of the island’s economic growth and job creation agenda.