Starbucks plans to consider opening a coffee store in Jamaica.
When Jamaicamocha spoke to Jamaica Blue Mountain farmers on the implications, most had a mixed bag of views.
Some say it will benefit the local industry provided the local authorities force Starbucks to follow the lead of Colombia: In that country Starbucks must only buy and sell Colombian beans.
Others, say it will hurt the local cafe sector, still burgeoning and still educating the public on how to drink brewed coffee. Remember that this luxury coffee producing nation generally drinks tea and imports instant coffees.
Those who want Starbucks to buy local also acknowledge another problem: How can Starbucks sell coffee at a similar price-point as in major markets while using expensive Jamaican coffee?
A solution involves using cheaper Jamaica low mountain beans but also allowing the giant to import commodity beans for blending as Jamaica Blue Mountain blends.
Even this solution would likely result in farmer protests and calls by other cafe players of favouritism.
Let’s see what brews.
Starbucks opened its first store in Colombia in 2014 and now has 11 stores. Medellin its latest, opened last September. But the chain wants to open 50 in that coffee producing country.
Starbucks now has over 1,000 stores in Latin America since entering Mexico in 2002. The new store, located in Medellín’s Milla de Oro on Poblado Avenue, is designed to honor Colombia’s rich coffee heritage while celebrating the city’s eclectic vibe.
“Since opening its first store in Colombia, Starbucks stores in the country have served 100 percent locally sourced and roasted coffee for in-store beverages to honor the country’s coffee heritage and the company’s 45-year history of sourcing premium arabica coffee from the region,” confirmed Starbucks on its press pages. “Customers can explore different varieties of Colombian coffees including Starbucks single-origin Colombia Nariño, Colombia Espresso, Colombia Espresso Decaf and the medium-roast Colombia coffee.”