Juliet Holness (left), member of parliament for St Andrew East Rural; Edmund Bartlett (centre), minister of tourism, and Audley Shaw, ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, sip their coffee at the launch of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, in January 2019.
The Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA) is planning to drum up quality demand for Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee (JBM) through its marketing programme which is under way.
JCEA president Norman Grant said the body will host 35 large coffee roasting company from the All Japan Association of Roasters from February 17 to 20, 2020 in Jamaica for a Jamaica coffee industry education tour “as a part of the strategy to rebuild the brand in the Japanese market and market it to a younger generation of coffee consumers”.
With reduced demand for coffee in all markets currently, the JCEA is trying a multipronged strategy. A similar approach will be taken for the United States and Europe, he said.
Presently, 70 per cent of JBM coffee is exported to Japan, 20 per cent to the United States and 10 per cent to Europe and the rest of the world.
The Japanese market share has fallen from 95 per cent 25 years ago with both the United States and Europe growing over the period.
Grant said he will lead a JCEA delegation to Japan on September 10 for the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ) Exhibition, schedule for September 11-14, 2019.
“We will showcase the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee on the global space as a part of our strategy to reposition the Jamaican brand,” he said.
Members of the JCEA will meet with members of the All Japan Association of Importers of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee to discuss orders and prices for the 2019-2020 crop year and also look on a five-year marketing plan for the JBM coffee in the Japanese market.
Locally, the JCEA is also seeking to market Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee to Jamaican consumers as well as tourists by installing Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee billboards in Montego Bay, Negril and Ohio Rios, as well as at the island’s airports.
The JCEA is also planning increased tastings of JBM at the cruise ship ports.
Additionally, some JCEA members such as Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, Jablum and Country Traders are advertising on the cruise ships.