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Jamaican non-Blue Mountain coffee shows favourable outlook

Published:Thursday | May 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE PROSPECTS for non-Blue Mountain coffee in the United States of America are promising, Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke was advised during a recent visit to Atlanta, Georgia, when he toured Blue Mountain Inc and got to see Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans roasted, ground and brewed.

Jamaica-born proprietor of Blue Mountain Inc, Edgar Munn, told the minister that the company recently did a special brew using non-Blue Mountain beans, which are grown at approximately 1,500 feet altitude in Jamaica, and it has "caught on tremendously".

Munn explained that judging from the initial response, the potential for the special brew is huge: "I think it puts the other coffee that is not classified as Blue Mountain, but still 100 per cent Jamaican, at a price point where the average person can buy it. The price point we put on the Internet is US$24.99 for a pound and one half delivered."

Delivered fresh

One of the strategies of the Georgia company is to deliver Jamaican coffee as freshly roasted as possible. Said Munn: "We roast and ship the coffee within 24 hours of being roasted. So persons in California will get their coffee four days later. If you are on the East Coast, you are going to get your coffee within 72 to 84 hours of roasting."

Meanwhile, Minister Clarke promised that he is taking steps to pursue people who are pirating the Jamaican coffee brand, to the detriment of the product and the Jamaican farmers.

He went on to describe Blue Mountain Inc as a "fantastic operation", adding that "this shows that when it comes to value added, if we apply innovations and if we are determined to move up the value chain, we can maximise our profits as far as our coffee is concerned".

"Over time, the country's farmers, and Jamaicans as a whole, have been concentrating their efforts on being just primary producers," Clarke emphasised. "What this is saying is that the value-added aspect of agriculture is extremely important. And we have to move along the value chain so that we can get the maximum out of what we produce."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com
e mimicking the action, as Roger Clarke, minister of agriculture and fisheries, prepares to cut the ribbon on a portion of the fertiliser being donated, with the help of Dennis Valdez, managing director of Newport Fersan Limited, which manufactured it.