Mugs are raised for the official launch of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, which will take place on Saturday, March 25, 2023. Celebrating (from left) are Chair, Gastronomy Network, Nicola Madden-Greig; Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace; Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (third left); Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Rural, Juliet Holness, and Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill. The ceremony was held at Devon House in Kingston, on January 9.
Coffee lovers, both locally and internationally, can mark Saturday, March 25, 2023 on their calendars as the date when the highly anticipated Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival will make its grand return.
The sixth staging of the annual event was launched today (January 9) at Devon House, in Kingston, and is set to take place at its traditional home – Newcastle, St. Andrew.
For this year, patrons can expect to be treated to the usual abundance of food, coffee and culture, as well as a roster of activities that include a farmers’ day/festival marketplace, a barista competition, coffee panel discussions, and a mixologist competition to create signature Jamaica coffee cocktails.
In addition, there will be a month-long celebration of the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, as well as visits to the attractions along the Blue Mountains, the promotion of coffee farm tours and a showcase of the cafes along the Jamaica Blue Mountain culinary trail.
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addressing the launch event, declared: “We’re coming back with a bang this year; a stronger, better, more exciting, more alluring, and a more all-embracing coffee festival.”
Dubbing the event as “a commercial idea with a value”, the Minister challenged private-sector investors to “come on board now” and invest in the festival.
“The private sector is the engine of growth…. . Government is about facilitation of that growth process. We want all to come together; let’s make this a signature event that invites the world to Jamaica every year,” Mr. Bartlett charged.
In his remarks, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., hailed the fact that the festival has had a positive impact on the industry, while also highlighting that the effort to bring the event to life is a collaborative one.
“This festival stimulates the kind of collaboration that we need. It brings the people to one table and causes us to speak, to interact and to act together. We have an asset in coffee, a commodity that the world is yearning for… and it is for us to make sure that we capitalise on the income earning that coffee provides,” the Minister said.
For his part, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, argued that the return of the festival is a “wonderful” opportunity for “Jamaican producers, manufacturers, exporters… everybody in the game”.
He said that the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is robust and emphasised that steps must be made to take the industry forward and narrow the export trade gap.
For her part, Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Rural, Juliet Holness, was particularly pleased that the festival has returned to Newcastle in that constituency, following its last staging at Devon House, in 2022.
“My farmers look forward to this festival and it has actually created a lot of new business for them. Creativity just abounds only because of the coffee festival,” Mrs. Holness highlighted.
Moreover, Chair of the Gastronomy Network, Nicola Madden-Greig, added that the location is “a very important part of the experience.
“Being up in the Blue Mountains is unique in its own way, and it really transforms people’s understanding of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. It’s that climatic condition [and] that atmosphere that has made Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee what it is,” Mrs. Greig said.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival is made possible by the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Tourism Enhancement Fund, Tourism Linkages Network, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
For more information, persons can connect with the organisers on social media (@JamaicaCoffeeFest) or visit http://www.bluemountaincoffeefest.com.
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