Coffee Cess to Provide Resources to Develop Industry

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda (right), emphasises a point during discussion with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited and Secretary of the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association, Norman Grant (left); and Chairman of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), James Rawle. Occasion was the launch of the Jamaican standard specification for coffee, JS 61:2016, at the BSJ headquarters in St. Andrew on February 1.

Story Highlights

  • Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the move to impose a cess on green coffee beans imported into Jamaica will level the field for players in the local sector and provide resources to develop the industry.
  • “We (already) put a cess on locally produced beans, so we’re levelling the playing field. I sincerely hope that by doing this, we’ll get the resources we need to encourage and promote the expansion of lowland and high mountain coffee...and see a total expansion of the product known as coffee for Jamaica,” he said.
  • The Coffee Industry Board (CIB), through its Quality Assurance Department, is responsible for monitoring the coffee industry to ensure that it meets the prescribed standard, and also certifies the quality of the coffee for the market.

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the move to impose a cess on green coffee beans imported into Jamaica will level the field for players in the local sector and provide resources to develop the industry.

“We (already) put a cess on locally produced beans, so we’re levelling the playing field. I sincerely hope that by doing this, we’ll get the resources we need to encourage and promote the expansion of lowland and high mountain coffee…and see a total expansion of the product known as coffee for Jamaica,” he said.

Mr. Samuda was addressing the launch of the Jamaican standard specification for coffee, JS 61:2016, at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) headquarters in St. Andrew on February 1.

The Ministry announced last September that work was advanced for the application of the cess, with most of the legislative work to facilitate the move completed.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited and Secretary of the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA), Norman Grant, says he is in full support of the cess.

He said the JCEA had long recommended the imposition of the cess for the development and expansion of the coffee industry and “we’re happy that the Minister has now taken the decision to implement it.”

Meanwhile, Minister Samuda said JS 61:2016, which is a revision of the 1977 coffee standard, sends a signal to the world that the Jamaica coffee brand not only meets international standards but is the “coveted brand of the world”.

The standard serves to provide specifications for coffee, as well as mandates the required blend for exportable High Mountain or Blue Mountain coffee.

Included are specifications for processing and handling coffee; colour blend requirements; changes in test methods; storage including lighting conditions; and labelling.

There are also specific definitions of coffee at various stages, and details regarding instant coffee.

The standard is mandatory and must be use by farmers, producers, licensed coffee blenders, exporters of Jamaican coffee, coffee importers, grinders, roasters, brewers and consumers.

The Coffee Industry Board (CIB), through its Quality Assurance Department, is responsible for monitoring the coffee industry to ensure that it meets the prescribed standard, and also certifies the quality of the coffee for the market.

Chairman of the BSJ, James Rawle, said coffee farmers, investors, members of the CIB and other stakeholders must ensure that only the very best coffee is packaged, shipped, retailed and brewed as authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

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