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JIS News

President of the Japanese Ueshima Coffee Company (UCC), Tatsushi Ueshima, has expressed satisfaction with the measures put in place by the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) to ensure that only the highest quality local coffee reaches the market in Japan.
Mr. Ueshima led a 13-member delegation from the AJIJC on a three-day tour of the operations of the CIB. He said that it was important that the AJIJC verify the operations of the CIB so that the Association can inform its consumers about the safety of the product. He pointed out that this is important to Japanese consumers who have become more conscious about health and food safety, resulting from problems with Chinese food imports last year.
The delegation is in Jamaica, he said, to see the facilities, examine the safety measures and verify that the measures will ensure the integrity and safety of the locally grown Blue and High Mountain Coffee. “We feel good about it, we feel safe,” he told JIS News.
Jamaica’s Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain Coffee are among the most expensive in the world, said Mr. Ueshima, who is also the Honorary Jamaican Consul in Kobe, Japan where his business is headquartered. He added that the group was satisfied with the quality control measures, adding that the procedures would serve to “preserve and enhance Jamaican coffee” and expand its growth and distribution.
The UCC head said that having seen the quality control facilities at the CIB and the laboratory facilities at the University of the West Indies, he and his team are convinced that Jamaican coffee is safe.
The laboratory facilities are being used to test for pesticide residue in coffee berries. Samples from all coffee delivered to the CIB are tested and those which test positive for chemicals will be destroyed.
CIB’s Director General, Christopher Gentles, noted that strict import regulations in its overseas markets, coupled with a determination by stakeholders to ensure that the Blue Mountain brand retains its high quality, have led to increased vigilance in all areas of production – from the farm to the cup.
Mr. Ueshima said that he and his associates fully support the system and will waste no time in informing their consumers about what they have seen.
“We will now go back and make our consumers understand what is happening,” he said, adding that this was important to the success of the Blue Mountain brand.
The Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) buys more than 80 per cent of the coffee grown locally. The delegation leaves the island on Wednesday July 2.

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