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JIS News

The Blue Mountain Coffee Co-operative has received three new machines valued at some $12 million, for use at the Co-operative’s operations in Yallahs, St. Thomas.
Funding for the equipment, including grading and hulling machines as well as a 5-ton rotary dryer with a furnace, was provided by the European Union under the Eastern Jamaica Agricultural Support Programme (EJASP).
Manager of the Blue Mountain Coffee Co-operative, O’Neil Blake, told JIS News that the machines obtained from England would be installed at the Yallahs site as soon as an identified building was repaired. In the meantime, he said the drying, storage, sorting and packaging operations would continue at the Moy Hall Coffee Factory in Cedar Valley in the parish.
Last July, the Moy Hall factory suffered extensive damage with the passage of Hurricane Dennis, when the main offices, drying areas and the pulping house were flooded. As a result, the Co-operative’s main office was relocated to Morant Bay. However, the wet part of the operations (collecting and pulping) remained at Moy Hall.
According Mr. Blake, the new drying machine would help to boost the drying capacity of the Co-operative.
“We have had major problems over the years in terms of being able to dry coffee during our peak period. Certainly the drying machine will help to increase the drying capacity as we seek to improve the efficiency of the factory for our farmers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Blake said the Co-operative was in the final stages in promoting a special brand of roasted and ground coffee, with the brand name Penlyne Castle.”We expect to have a launch of this product in April. We want to start distribution in another week and a half,” he said, noting that the product has been approved by the Coffee Industry Board and the Bureau of Standards Jamaica.
“Our website is being finalized now and within another two weeks we should have everything in place to kick start the commercial aspect of the roasted venture,” he explained.
He said the Co-operative was exploring several markets and had been getting requests from local and overseas markets, such as China, Europe and the United States.