The supreme court will today, hear an application by Salada Foods limited against the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).
The “urgent” application against JACRA follows the agricultural authority’s recent directive that salada increases the local coffee content in the formulation of its mountain peak instant coffee powder effective September 1.
Salada uses 10 per cent local coffee content in its instant coffee powder, but JACRA recently directed the company to increase that content by a further 20 per cent.
For Salada, JACRA’s edict to change the instant coffee formula will be detrimental to the company’s cost of sales.
“Tt will also materially change the taste profile of its mountain peak coffee brand which currently enjoys over 50 per cent market share of the instant coffee sector, and we are unsure of how receptive consumers will be to the change,” Salada indicated.
To this end, Salada turned to the court on Monday, August 31, for leave to apply for judicial review to seek orders of certiorari and mandamus for the decision taken by JACRA.
Following JACRA’s directive last month, Salada had reportedly requested a meeting with Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and JACRA to discuss the impact the increase in local content will have on Salada’s operations.
It’s not clear whether that meeting was held.
Salada has for years voiced its concerns about how JACRA fees on the coffee sector have been affecting its business and today estimate that its cess charges amount to about $100 million per annum.