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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, says restructuring of the Coffee Industry Board (CIB), now underway, is to improve its effectiveness in addressing the needs of the industry.

“We have sought to separate the board in terms of administration from the business aspect of it. Things are changing and we will have to change with the times,” Mr. Clarke said.

The Minister was speaking at the CIB long service awards function held on December 19 at the Pollyanna Caterers and Banqueters on Stanton Terrace.

Mr. Clarke said that a team has been put in place “to work to see how the industry can be improved.”

“It is not just about regulation but how we can do many things to lift the profile of the Jamaican coffee. There are many problems, not the least of these, your problem with roads and we have to deal with that because there are farmers, who probably cannot reach their farms because of the bad roads. As Government, we have to concentrate where we ought to concentrate and those are some of the things we will commit ourselves to,” the Agriculture Minister said.

He added that research and development is also important in the development of the industry.

Mr. Clarke noted also that the price for coffee has increased on the market, and if the country does not increase its production “we cannot be in the business.”

“There are many places trying to copy us and trying to tell the world that they have as good a coffee as we have but they cannot outclass us. The CIB must be there to ensure that the integrity of Jamaica’s coffee remains a top priority,” Mr. Clarke said.

“Too many fly by night people like to invade the territory and do all kinds of things,” he added.

The CIB principal role is to promote, regulate, monitor and guide the development of the coffee industry and to assure the quality of Jamaican coffee.

The board owns the Jamaica Blue Mountain® and Jamaican High Mountain Supreme® coffee trademarks and is responsible for the integrity of the brand.

The management of the CIB recognised and awarded 38 employees both past and present who have over the years contributed to the success of the board.