Coffee Production in Jamaica – Why We Love Our Local Farmers!
The Island of Jamaica produces some of the best quality coffee in the entire world.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the best-known brands out of Jamaica and is premium quality coffee enjoyed in many households across the globe.
We will look at the history of Coffee production in Jamaica and the areas of the country that produces this world class coffee.
History of Coffee Production in Jamaica
The coffee plant was brought to Jamaica from Martinique, in 1728 by Sir Nicholas Lawes who was the governor of Jamaica at the time. He planted the berries at his plantation in Temple Hall, St Andrew.
There was an initial rapid expansion of coffee production on the Island mainly due to the influx of Haitians fleeing the revolution on that Island who had expertise in coffee production and the natural conditions in Jamaica were also favorable to the production of top quality coffee.
The Industry however soon began to falter, due to inadequate land preparation and agronomical practices and there was a largescale abandonment of coffee plantations especially after emancipation in 1838, when the former slaves deserted plantation work on a largescale basis.
The industry was however resurrected by peasant farmers who grew coffee on their small parcels of lands and have been the mainstay of the Jamaican Coffee Industry over the last one hundred years or so.
The Coffee Industry Board was established in 1943 by the Jamaican government to set and maintain quality standards of locally produced coffee for the export market.
The Coffee Industry Board also owns the rights of Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica and is responsible for maintaining the integrity and quality of the brand.
Areas that produce the best quality Coffee in Jamaica
The quality of Coffee is better at higher elevations. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the best quality coffee produced in Jamaica is grown in the mountainous Blue Mountain region.
This region includes parts of the parishes of Portland, St. Thomas and St. Andrew. In these areas, coffee is grown by several small-scale farmers who sell their crop to the Coffee Industry Board, the board then vets the coffee to ensure that it meets the high-quality standards of Blue Mountain Coffee before it is exported.
Blue Mountain Coffee is regarded as among the best quality coffee in the world, due to its full-bodied nature and subtle acidity.
This quality coffee should still be available for the world to enjoy for many years to come because of the structures and standards established by the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board and the insatiable demand for this quality product worldwide.
The people fuelling the Coffee Industry in Jamaica are the small local farmers that produce about 90% of all Blue Mountain Coffee on the Island.
These farmers are very passionate about coffee production and are some of the unsung heroes on the Island that contribute in a significant way to brand Jamaica.
You should try a cup of Blue Mountain coffee on your next visit to Jamaica, and you will be enjoying a quality locally produced product.