Sister companies Wallenford Coffee and Mavis Bank Coffee Factory want to be in every luxury store in the world. But quality takes time to find new markets.
Green beans are best handled by these companies directly but for roasted beans there are options. Each company ships roasted beans globally but they do so at prices which can at times be prohibitive. That’s where brokers enter the picture. Will a 8oz bag of coffee might sell for US$35 directly from these companies, resellers sometimes offer for US$25. Of course buy from sellers on platforms or websites with feedback and knowledge about coffee. Because most Jamaicans don’t drink coffee and think all coffee tastes great.
Jablum and Wallenford were distinct companies until recently acquired by a millionaire, whose officers restructured both companies under a new entity called Specialty Coffee Holdings. The strategy of the Specialty aims to increase green and roasted bean sales to new geographies with special care for China. They want China but they fear bean duplication and thus are searching for a large distributor and roaster.
Five years ago, Russia was a fastest emerging market but the sanctions and the drop in oil prices killed that market almost overnight. The strength of the Russian economy will one day rebound and we await its recovery.
Contextually Japan buys about 75 per cent of total output of coffee from Jamaica. But whats more the remaining 25 per cent sent to other regions actually fights with the some of the 85 per cent repackaged from Japan back to the world.
The Chinese are culturally tea drinkers, but coffee remains popular among youngsters and entrepreneurs which creates a market, particularly for the growing middle class.
Following the Western Financial Crisis in 2008, the Japanese market retracted from buying large supplies of Jamaica coffee. The efforts to market Jamaica coffee in USA and Europe proved difficult with limited budgets. While offloading excess goods in Jamaica would prove futile as the island drinks instant coffee and teas. Additionally, hotels are not required to buy Jamaica coffee.
The price of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee remains at around US$27 per kilogramme in Japan for green beans,and US50 per kilogramme for roasted beans.