The first shipment of Green Bean Jamaican Coffee is to be shipped today, as the Government continues its thrust to diversify the access to Jamaica’s premium brand. This shipment is consigned to the Zhejiang Dunn’s River Import and Export Co. Ltd., which is the corporate body formed to handle the commercial transactions of the Hangzhou Coffee and Western Foods. The first batch of 16,500kgs of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee will leave on the vessel “LANIA” and is expected to arrive in Ningbo, China, from where it will be trucked to Hangzhou, China.
In July last year, the Hangzhou Coffee and Western Foods Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Coffee Industry Board with the understanding that the body corporate representing the Hangzhou Coffee and Western Foods Association would purchase a total of 1000 X 70kg barrels of Jamaican Coffee at an estimated value of US$2.0M. This shipment has an approximate sale value of approximately US$425,000. Four more shipments will be sent to complete the full contractual obligations of Zhejiang Dunn’s River Import and Export Company.
Agriculture Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said the shipment to China is a step in the right direction. “It is consistent with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Coffee Industry Board strategy to diversify the marketing of Jamaica Blue Mountain ® Coffee, and whereas this is early days in the development of the coffee culture, the consumption of coffee is very small in China, but the country already consumes close to 1.0 million bags mostly of lower quality Robusta coffee. This is mostly used in the production of instant coffee. However, with what is potentially the largest gift market in the World, and the penchant for expensive and ostentatious gifts that celebrates Chivas Regal, Gucci, Coach and others, this is a prime market for the World’s Finest Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee”, he said.
Chairman of the Coffee Industry Board, Howard Mitchell echoed similar sentiments. “The new dispensation calls for new marketing strategies and this is the first step in doing so” he noted. He hailed the contribution of existing partners and noted that further efforts are underway to increase Jamaican coffee market share.
In this agreement Zhejiang Dunn’s River has committed to spend a minimum of US$960,000.00 on promotions and marketing, and will assist the CIB in its brand promotion efforts in China.