First Look

Launch of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day in Japan



0 | 2019-01-09 15:02:00


Senator Norman Grant, OD, JP, (Chairman), and Mr. Jason Sharpe (Director) of the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA) along with His Excellency Ricardo Allicock, Jamaica’s Ambassador to Japan, and Mr. Tatsushi Ueshima, Chairman of the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) and former Honorary Consul of Jamaica in Kobe along with other members of the Association, yesterday, held a Press Conference to officially launch Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day in Japan. The occasion, which received wide coverage from over twenty Japanese media outlets, was acknowledged for its high significance in inaugurating the annual recognition of the special place of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee to Jamaica and Japan. The Launch was held at the Embassy of Jamaica, Tokyo, Japan.
In opening the Press Launch, Ambassador Ricardo Allicock acknowledged the commitment of the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA), in close partnership with the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC), in the continued promotion and strengthening of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee brand in both countries. The designation of 9th of January as “Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day”, the Ambassador noted, will serve as an opportunity for both countries to celebrate, promote and purchase Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. The Ambassador also made use of the occasion to acknowledge the final year of the Heisei reign of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Akihito of Japan and conveyed Jamaica’s best wishes for the successful completion of his reign, scheduled for 30th April 2019, as well as for the successful reign of his son and successor, His Imperial Highness, Prince Naruhito.

In this connection, the bilateral relationship between both countries was highlighted by the Ambassador for its continued and considerable growth, made possible by the shared commitment of both countries to mutual understanding and sustainable development. 2019 will also be the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Jamaica and Japan. The Ambassador concluded his remarks by reiterating the high appreciation of the Government of Jamaica for the continued support received from the Government of Japan and the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee, in partnership with the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA), for ensuring the prominence of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee in Japan.
Senator Norman Grant, OD, JP, and Mr. Jason Sharpe provided keen insights into the history and development of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee brand and its journey into the Japanese market dating as far back as 1967, following the first direct shipment from Jamaica to Japan in March 1953 by Keble Munn of Mavis Bank Coffee Factory.
The Senator announced that a Proclamation was issued by His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L. Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, Governor General of Jamaica, on 31st December 2018, to annually recognise Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, which is to also be celebrated in Jamaica on 9th January.
“Jamaica’s coffee industry is one of the country’s most important sub-sectors, touching the lives of 102,000 farm families and generating approximately US$25 million annually. 85 per cent of production is generated by small farmers, with the Japanese market, currently, absorbing 70 per cent of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffee exports. The USA imports 20 percent and Europe and the rest of the world 10 percent”. Both Senator Grant and Mr. Sharp expressed deep appreciation to the Japanese coffee consumers for their continued support of and demand for the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Note was made of the strategy of JCEA for the increased and sustainable production and promotion of the Coffee brand, with a focus on quality and affordability.
The Senator spoke highly of the JCEA/AJIJC partnership and their shared commitment to enhancing the volume of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee at sustainable prices, including plans geared towards market diversification.

Special mention was made of the Coffee Festival to be held in March 2019 in Jamaica, as well as plans for a large coffee exposition and celebration on Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day in 2020.
Chairman Ueshima Tatsushi, Chairman, Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) echoed similar sentiments to that of the foregoing speakers. In this regard, The Chairman emphasised the commitment of the AJIJC to the revitalisation of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee brand in Japan. The Chairman also welcomed the designation of 9th January as Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day as a pivotal moment in the history of and partnership between the AJIJC and the JCEA, and by extension Jamaica-Japan relations, in ensuring that Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee continues to gain prominence in the Japanese market and household.




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