Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is working with key stakeholders to position the country’s Blue Mountain Coffee as a luxury brand that will drive demand and increase exports.
For the past five years, JAMPRO has partnered with the Jamaica Coffee Exporters’ Association (JCEA) and the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) to heighten awareness of this iconic, luxury brew among indigenous coffee drinkers as well as attract a new generation captivated by a ‘luxury lifestyle’.
Speaking at the official launch of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, at Café Blue in St. Andrew on Monday (January 9), JAMPRO Vice President for Marketing, Gabriel Heron, explained that “one of the things that we are trying to do, and what is very important, is positioning Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee as a luxury brand; and what that means is being able to sell at grade margins and increasing demand for the product globally”.
“With an increase in demand and with a greater recognition of the flavour profile and the luxury component of the brand itself, it can only drive demand, hence improving exports,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, told JIS News that “we are… celebrating this day because the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is really special across the world”.
“It has gained a premium price, and Japan is, by far, our biggest purchaser. When you go there, the people are happy to pay the price, because the coffee is exceptionally good,” he pointed out.
Mr. Heron indicated that over the last 10 years, Jamaica has exported an average of approximately 550,000 kilograms of coffee per annum, adding that this out-turn is projected to increase this year.
“One… major focus, through partnership with JACRA and JCEA, is to improve production elements of coffee to supply the demand; and once we can improve the local production side, we’ll be able to supply the demand and improve”, Mr. Heron told JIS News.
He indicated that Jamaica Blue Mountain and High Mountain Coffee brands are being crafted, adding that JAMPRO is a part of that process, while advising that “we will continue to be involved in any significant export product that Jamaica has”.
“We will also continue to play an active role in promoting all export products from Jamaica over which coffee is a signature product,” Mr. Heron further said.
Coffee Day, which is celebrated annually on January 9, is held to commemorate the first large shipment of coffee beans to Japan on this date in 1967.
The Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) proposed a motion to the Japanese Government to celebrate the day each year.
Approval was given on January 9, 2019, and Jamaica and Japan have been celebrating the day since.
Monday’s activities saw JAMPRO collaborating with the JCEA, JACRA, and various Government Ministries to demonstrate a special way in which coffee can be brewed, in celebration of this auspicious occasion.
The day, which is recognised in Jamaica, Japan and other parts of the world, was celebrated this year under the theme ‘Living the Luxury Lifestyle’.