A coffee tree in the Blue Mountains laden with berries almost ready to be reaped. - File
A delegation comprising 13 members of the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) visited Jamaica recently to pursue discussions with members of the coffee industry on the marketing of Jamaican coffee in the Japanese market.
The delegation, led by the AJIJC Chairman Tatsushi Ueshima, was invited by the Coffee Industry Board.
Among the issues discussed was the pricing of exportable grades and the measures implemented by the Coffee Industry Board to mitigate risks of pesticide-contaminated coffee being exported.
"The Jamaican coffee industry has enjoyed a relationship of trust and friendly cooperation with the AJIJC over many years," the board said in a release. "The association has played a significant role in providing fundamental assistance to the coffee industry for expansion and restoration activities."
The board added: "With the assistance of the AJIJC, the Claverty Cottage/Shirley Castle 3,500-acre Loan Agreement was signed in 1984, and the implementation of this project had significant and positive impact on the economic and social welfare of the Blue Mountain region."
The board said that, in 1989, the AJIJC also extended soft loans to the industry valuing US$7.3 million, for the revitalisation and restoration of coffee acreages damaged by Hurricane Gilbert, which struck Jamaica in September 1988.
The AJIJC has also spearheaded the promotion of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee to its own target markets and has contributed significantly to the premier position held by Jamaican coffee in the international marketplace.
Japan continues to be the major market for exports of Jamaican coffee, earning approximately US$30 million per year.