KINGSTON, Jamaica — The second annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival will be launched at a press conference on January 14.
The three-day event, which showcases the rich tradition of coffee production in the Blue Mountain region, was launched last year and featured Blue Mountain coffee, coffee-related products, food stalls, tastings, demonstrations and workshops.
Held at Newcastle in St. Andrew in late March, the event saw approximately 1,000 patrons in attendance and was completely sold out.
Chairperson of the Tourism Ministry’s Gastronomy Network, Nicola Madden-Greig, said the festival is part of a strategy to have locals, as well as visitors, exposed to Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee where it is produced.
“We will continue to work with the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Linkages Network to push the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee through our hotels and attractions,” she said.
“Most of our gift shops sell it, a lot of our hotels serve it, but we want to see how we can improve on that and grow those numbers,” she added.
Mrs. Madden-Grieg was addressing a press conference to launch Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), at JAMPRO’S offices in New Kingston, on January 4.
The MOU, which was signed by JAMPRO, JACRA and the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA), establishes a formal framework to guide a promotional campaign and marketing strategy to support the Jamaica Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain coffees.
To be observed on January 9 by Jamaica and Japan, the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day is being held in recognition of the formidable relationship forged between the two countries since 1953 when Jamaica sent its first shipment of coffee to the Asian country.
It also marks the day the largest shipment of coffee left the port of Kingston en route to Japan in 1967.