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Jackie Minott: Exporting coffee across the globe

Published:Tuesday | October 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Jackie Minott is proud of the products offered by Jamaica Standard Products.

Jamaica Standard Products Company Limited is a trailblazer in the development of Jamaican exports. The company, owned and operated by the Minott family for more than 68 years, continues its tradition of producing some of the industry's finest coffee.

The company is headed by Jackie Minott, who assumed leadership of the company when his father died. He is ably assisted by his son, John O.

"I was nine years old when I first joined my father in business, as I used to be a sideman on the truck that went into parts of St Elizabeth and Manchester to purchase pimento, ginger, honey and sarsaparilla," the elder Minott said.


Humble beginnings


The third-generation business that has been in operation since 1944, has one of the largest coffee farms in the country. Leslie Minott started the company, trading in items such as goat skins, coconut, sarsaparilla, honey, ginger and coffee. In 1952, when the coffee market gained popularity, the company changed direction from produce to manufacturing.

Minott, 80, continues to be integrally involved in the business from which he derives great fulfilment by going into his office each week - even for at least three to four hours per day. He has no plans to retire.

"I need to earn and I simply enjoy what I do. I get satisfaction from the day-to-day operations of the business. I am also very attached to my staff, and it is always a pleasure to see them and work alongside them," Minott said.


Formula for success


Minott believes that for any business to be a success, it must primarily be built on a solid foundation of honesty, integrity and respect for employees and customers.

"The principle of the Golden Rule to treat others as you would like to be treated was ingrained in me from a child, and I have personally sought to live that rule," Minott said.

"As a family-owned business, we have encouraged an 'open door' policy for our employees, and we encourage input, ideas and suggestions from them, of which many have been implemented into our business practices. It is critical for any business to have a vision of where it wants to go and, as such, planning ahead is fundamental for success," he added.