January 9, 2019 marks a historic occasion, as we commence the celebration of this day as Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day both in Jamaica and Japan – our largest market for coffee!
This recognition, which has been formalized by our Japanese partners through legislation, highlights yet another example of international recognition of Brand Jamaica and the enviable impact our country has made on the world through our culture, products and people. Indeed, Jamaica’s acclaim on the world stage echoes our vibrant and illustrious reputation in so many areas.
As we highlight the quality and acclaim of one of our most valuable export commodities on this Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, we celebrate a partnership that was forged some 66 years ago when Jamaica sent its first shipment of coffee to Japan. Japan currently consumes the bulk of our production with approximately 70 per cent of our coffee exported their annually.
As Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, I echo the vision of our stakeholders to ensure that Jamaica remains the producer of the connoisseur’s choice of coffee. Jamaican coffee must be placed as an essential ingredient in the increased production of a range of value-added products such as liqueurs, candles, soaps, scrubs, sweets, chocolates and ice cream, toward the goal of diversified industry.
I commend the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA) for its work toward increased production and the productivity of farmers, sustainable prices, brand development and expansion, and market development and diversification. I further commend the Association and its partners, the Association of Japan Importers of Jamaica Coffee; Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA); Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Jamaica Tourist Board, for their work toward making Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day a success, as we move to inspire our global stakeholders to join us in celebrating the finest coffee in the world!
Hon. Audley Shaw, CD, MP