Sa­muda dis­cusses prices, pro­duc­tion level with cof­fee stake­hold­ers

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER OF In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Karl Sa­muda last week met with stake­hold­ers in the cof­fee in­dus­try for a re­view of the sec­tor.

The meet­ing, which took place at the min­istry’s Hope Road of­fices on Fri­day, brought to­gether cof­fee farm­ers, deal­ers, and ex­porters, as well as of­fi­cials from the Cof­fee In­dus­try Board.

The level of cof­fee pro­duc­tion and the price to be paid per box to farm­ers were among some of the top­ics dis­cussed.

Pro­ces­sors were care­ful to ex­plain that prices are de­pen­dent on mar­ket forces that ob­tain in the Ja­panese mar­ket to which 70 per cent of lo­cally pro­duced cof­fee is sold.

The meet­ing was told that cof­fee farm­ers will be paid an av­er­age of $8,000 in the first in­stance per box of cof­fee.

How­ever, this fig­ure may be in­creased de­pend­ing on ne­go­ti­a­tions due to take place with Ja­panese im­porters this month.

There has been a de­cline in the de­mand for Blue Moun­tain Cof­fee on the Ja­panese mar­ket be­cause of the in­crease in prices charged by lo­cal pro­ces­sors.

The prod­uct has moved from US$27 to US$65 per kilo­gram in the last two years.

“It is clear: we must now un­der­stand that un­less our cof­fee can be com­pet­i­tive against other al­beit in­fe­rior sources of cof­fee, we will not be able to get the level of mar­ket sat­is­fac­tion we need and this will im­pact neg­a­tively on our cof­fee farm­ers,” said Sa­muda.

The agri­cul­ture min­is­ter has agreed to lead a team to in­clude per­sons from the min­istry, as well as pro­ces­sors to visit farm­ers in the Blue Moun­tain cof­fee re­gion to ex­plain the pric­ing mech­a­nism.

In ad­di­tion, the Cof­fee Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion, work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the farm­ers, has been asked by Sa­muda to present a pro­posal to es­tab­lish agro parks in cof­fee-pro­duc­ing ar­eas.

SA­MUDA

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