Jamaica Standard Products - blazing the trail for generations
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Williamsfield, Manchester Claiming to be the only coffee manufacturers in the island with advanced technology geared towards improving the quality of the local produce, Jamaica Standard Products Company Limited is a trailblazer in the development of Jamaican exports.
The third-generation business, which has been in operation since 1944, has one of the largest coffee farms in the country and has seen significant development since its inception. The company has retooled and reorganised to meet the challenges of time and has beaten the odds to maintain its impressive position in 2014.
"We have one [farm] in a place called Cave Valley, that's in Aenon Town, and then another, Barron Hall Estates, we call it Blue Baron, located at Blue Mountains. The farm is approximately 300 acres, of which we have 280 acres planted in coffee," said Managing Director Jackie Minott.
The beans, which take approximately three years and six months to come to full maturity, are exported green or roasted to countries like Japan, China, England, the United States, Canada as well as European countries, but the ability to supply the demand is a constant struggle.
"Our real problem is that there is just not enough coffee in Jamaica ... . We have everybody wanting Jamaican coffee to buy and we have none because of, one, the disease that has affected us from Central America which blows up here. [It] kills the beans on the trees ... . We have our insecticides that we spray, but when the berries fall and another disease plagues them and it's just one calamity after another."
Minott, who took over the reins of the company when his father died and now operates it with his son, expanded the factory, that was below an office space, to a 15,000-sq ft building which manufactures ground/roasted coffee and coffee liqueur.
The company currently has 150 permanent employees with an additional 150 persons hired during harvesting periods.
"We take pride in our workers and we treat them well, we have workers here who have been around since my father's time, so for over 30 years they have contributed to this company."
With some successes attributed to the community and the stakeholders, Minott says persons such as the mayor and the custos are crucial in aiding what it is they do with regard to elevating and giving back.
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