Jamaican coffee is considered a fine coffee throughout the world and is highly regarded for its quality and flavor, especially Blue Mountain® and High Mountain. It is also a boutique coffee because it is so rare. In relation to world production it is small, at less than 1%. Jamaica Standard Product has been in business for 75 years and is one of the oldest companies. I am the third generation involved in this family business. We are one of the few that do all the different types of coffee, including Blue Mountain® and High Mountain. Many of the other producers are only Blue Mountain®. In fact, the High Mountain brand is ours, which we are known for. We also have the single-largest coffee farm in the country, Baronhall Estate, with over 300 acres. With 75 acres in Springhill, Portland, we also produce our own Blue Mountain® and purchase from neighboring Blue Mountain® farmers as well. We are a fully integrated company from seedling to cup and are one of the leaders in terms of quality coffee offering. Our goal is to ramp up coffee production. We want to rebuild production on our farms due to some of the losses from rust and drought. We are also trying to expand our value-added side by bringing in new products
May. 21, 2018
CEO, Jamaica Standard Product
Dianna Blake Bennett
General Manager, Salada Foods
We developed our Mountain Peak brand in the 1970s, a spray-dried instant coffee. We have grown the range to include a three-in-one and decaffeinated coffee, and in 2016 we launched our low-caff, which has 25% less caffeine than our regular brand. In 2017, we rolled out our flavored coffee—Cinameg (cinnamon and nutmeg) and vanilla. Salada Foods currently holds a little over 50% of the market share in the instant coffee category of the coffee market. Our biggest competitor is Nescafé, which is a mega-brand; however, we have been holding our own. We consider ourselves the coffee of choice of Jamaicans because most of us grew up drinking Mountain Peak. We do a process run each quarter, which is the actual manufacturing of coffee powder that we continuously package thereafter. We are the only company in the English-speaking Caribbean with spray-dry capabilities, and we leverage this capability to produce instant coffee not just for ourselves but also for the Jablum and Grace. Our biggest challenge in the coffee industry is producing the volume of local coffee we need to meet demand affordably. Jamaica does not produce enough green beans locally for the instant coffee market; it produces a large amount of Blue Mountain Coffee, and we would not able to produce instant coffee at the price it sells for.
Vice Chairman, Wallenford and Mavis Bank Coffee Companies
The Jamaican coffee industry is relatively small, less than USD100 million in sales. It is possible to triple or quadruple that through developing new products. Despite our 250-year history, we took an objective look and saw that the business focuses overwhelmingly on the sale of green wholesale coffee. If we want to turn the corner and make more money, we have to get closer to the final end product by selling more roasted coffee. Blue Mountain Coffee is similar to champagne in terms of regional production. If a farm is located outside particular area in Jamaica, it cannot be called Blue Mountain Coffee. Although a farm should have 900 trees per acre, many Blue Mountain Coffee farms have far less. There is a great deal more that could be grown on existing farms. As the largest holder of land in the Blue Mountain Coffee area, we are in the best position to lead this effort. Many Jamaicans and global drinkers of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee think of Wallenford when they think of a leading provider of high-end coffee, largely because we spend a great deal of energy differentiating our company. We have old farms running for over 200 years in some of the areas where we grow coffee, and we want to leverage that as we seek to diversify geographically.