Imported coffee packaged and processed in Jamaica will now have to be blended with at least 20-percent Jamaican coffee beans.
It’s part of the new coffee regulations, which came into effect last week.
Agriculture and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda, says the objective is to boost the expansion of Jamaican coffee and eventually eliminate the importation of green beans.
According to Minister Samuda, when persons import coffee, mix it with cheap imported beans and sell that product to hotels as coffee that’s processed and packaged in Jamaica, it cheapens and destroys the reputation of the Jamaican coffee brand.
The Minister says that’s why he took the decision to implement a regulation insisting that no coffee will be packaged and sold in Jamaica if it doesn’t contain Jamaica’s coffee.
He says the regulations should encourage local farmers to produce more High Mountain Coffee.
And, he’s warning that breaching the regulations will come with hefty fines or a term of imprisonment.