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Jamaican government brewing new strategy to relaunch the coffee industry

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaican government is looking at long-term solutions to relaunch the country’s coffee industry on the international market, the Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Audley Shaw said in a statement.

Shaw’s remarks were read by Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry Daryl Vaz, at a press conference to launch Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) offices in New Kingston on January 4.

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The MoU, which was signed by JAMPRO, JACRA and the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association, establishes a formal framework to guide a promotional campaign and marketing strategy to support the Jamaica Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain coffees.

Suggested measures include the reduction of infringements on the Jamaica Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain coffee trademarks on the international scene, as well as locally, through the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA). Variety monitoring activities to ensure adaptability and disease resistance are also considered.

Other solutions being examined are the implementation of a coffee nursery policy to guide the way nurseries operate, in order to adequately regulate and monitor varieties that are cultivated; and the establishment of a coffee training institute, aimed at certifying the regulatory cup testers.

The institute, which is to be housed at JACRA, will be fully operational by September.