Starbucks would drop two cafes in Jamaica which will target tourists primarily at least initially, according to Coffee dealers who spoke to Jamaicamocha .
The talk is that the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay
could see a location followed quickly by another, at a new business
hotel under construction in Kingston. (Let’s avoid names for the moment.)
Of course, last month the Gleaner reported that Starbucks is considering entering the island along with other Caribbean territories in the medium term.
It just so happens that the busy Montego Bay airport which currently
doesn’t have any store slots available will see 25 per cent of the
stores come up for contract renewal this year, according to media reports.
Sources say that’s where the Starbucks franchisee will snatch up a vacancy and outbid an
existing operator. But it might not even have to come to a bidding
war, as the franchisee already supplies the airport with food
and beverage. (I have already said too much.)
Who are the two private sector players seeking to acquire the
Starbucks franchise in Jamaica–They are both in hospitality sector, the
Will Starbucks increase the coffee culture? Will Starbucks improve a
cup of local coffee? Or would it simply increase the price? Let’s see. Not all cafe players are upbeat about the prospects especially those who earn from the tourist market.
Industry players are again contemplating sending green or unroasted beans to China in an effort to offset reduced demand in Japan, the largest buying market for Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee.
The source indicates that its a real possibility despite concerns about the Chinese market and the potential for unauthorised blending of beans.
“We have to try something,” added the source.
In 2011, the Coffee Industry of Jamaica (CIB) sent its first shipment of green beans to China. The CIB sent representatives to live in the country in order to streamline the supply chain. The deal signed with Zhejiang Dunn’s River Import and Export Company Limited, would handle the commercial transactions of the Hangzhou Coffee and Western Foods. The deal was met with ambivalence from some Japanese buyers who questioned the price at which the beans were sold to China. The deal with the major importer wasn’t continued after the initial two year attempt. But with the softening of the Japanese market the search for new markets are inevitable.As the industry can no longer avoid the world’s second largest economy.