Ministry of Agriculture Commissions Study of Coffee Industry

The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has commissioned a study of the island’s coffee industry and the Coffee Industry Board (CIB), as a means of determining a fair regulatory structure for the sector.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Donovan Stanberry, made the disclosure at a meeting of the Blue Mountain Coffee Farmers Co-operative held recently at the Morant Villas Hotel in St. Thomas.
He said the study would “look at the Coffee Industry Board as a regulatory authority and to establish the kind of structure needed to execute the mandate of regulating the industry; what kind of research and technical services can be provided to the industry to enhance expansion of acreage and export; what regulatory system is to be instituted to ensure that all stakeholders can survive and what additional measures were needed to protect the integrity of the Blue Mountain Coffee brand.”
According to Mr. Stanberry, the study comes as a result of new players entering the industry, who use their strength of cash to woo farmers from established buyers by paying for the product upfront.
The Permanent Secretary said that the Ministry had an obligation to examine the situation with the aim of adjusting the regulatory structure to level the playing field, so that all the marketing companies have an equal opportunity to do business.

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