January 28 - 2022
Coffee Geography Magazine
Minister of Agriculture of Jamaica, Mr. Pearnel Charles Jr. announced that his country plans to increase the production and export of the highly valued Blue Mountain Coffee. The United States is accounted for the current 20 per cent exports of the BMC. Japan is Jamaica’s largest importer of Blue Mountain Coffee, absorbing some 70 per cent of exports, with Europe and the rest of the world importing about 10 per cent.
The announcement made during a ceremony to celebrate Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee (JBMC) Day.The event includes virtual celebrations by the Consulate General of Jamaica and the Consulate General of Japan both in New York, along with representatives from the United States.
He noted that production of the crop remains viable, despite challenges in the industry, such as declining production rates moving from a high output of 530,000 boxes in 2004 to 220,000 boxes in the 2021/2022 crop year.
“The cultivation and production of coffee has been a stable agricultural activity for Jamaica, generating foreign exchange earnings of up to US$17 million per year for the last three years. The industry is profitable and it translates to one that supports and improves the quality of lives of our coffee farmers and their families,” Charles pointed out.
JBMC Day was first observed on January 9, 2019 by Japan, in recognition of the date when the largest consignment of coffee was shipped to the Asian country in 1967.
The day is a celebration of the world-famous Jamaican coffee brand and highlights the long-standing cooperation and friendship between Jamaica and Japan, of which the trade of the product has been a cornerstone since Jamaican coffee was first imported to Japan in the early 1950s.
“This speaks volumes; it indicates that throughout those years, our coffee has been constantly in demand in [Japan] in terms of quality.”
It is instructive to see that the relationship with Japan has now gone beyond commercial ventures into developmental activities, in that Japan is also assisting in boosting the technical capacity of Jamaica’s farmers through initiatives such as eco-friendly coffee production.