Hours after the announcement of the Salada Coffee Project, the manufacturer acquired 750 boxes of cherries on Thursday, November 15, 2018.
This was revealed at a press briefing at the Blue Mahoe Suite at Courtleigh Hotel on Monday November 19, 2018. The purchase, valued at approximately $3M, was made after engaging farmers in the Mount Airy region of the Blue Mountains.
According to Patrick Williams, chairman of Salada Foods Jamaica, mutual dependencies define the coffee industry.
“The coffee industry depends on many things and Salada is willing to play its part,” stated Williams.
“Many people depend on it for their survival; for the small farmers, it is their only safety net. The current global supply gut is driving prices downward and threatening its viability. These changes are also affecting Salada. We have a supply chain to protect, a local supply chain. We have over 120 members of staff, workers, hardworking men and women mostly from the inner-city, looking to us to keep them afloat each and every month.
“The industry stakeholders; coffee farmers; coffee exporters; coffee traders; JACRA; the Ministry [of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries]; and your instant coffee manufacturer, Salada, must all pull together and do what we have to do to make this industry great again,” concluded Williams.
Considered a major shift in Salada’s strategic operations, Salada has embarked on a venture to purchase 25,000 boxes of coffee cherries at $4,000 per box from the Blue Mountains, which will be converted to approximately 200,000 lbs of green beans over the next three-to-four month period.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, The Honourable Audley Shaw, lauded Salada for its efforts.
“I want to commend Salada for the foresight and vision of taking a potential crisis and turning it into what may end up being a golden opportunity. As is often said, in every crisis there is a seed of greater benefit; in every crisis, there is an opportunity,” stated Shaw.
“This shift in the company’s operational line is bold and innovative, and demonstrates the value of market-driven initiatives that will see the company benefiting from a consistent supply of local green beans to suit their manufacturing needs,” he added.
In addressing attendees of the briefing, Dianna Blake-Bennett, general manager of Salada Foods Jamaica, made an appeal to farmers to engage Salada as early as possible.
“We ask the farmers in the Blue Mountain area to seek out our depots, which were previously operated by Stoneleigh, will now being branded for Salada. We will have a full roll out of depots tomorrow (on Tuesday, November 20, 2018). And of course, we encourage all of you to drink the Jamaica Mountain Peak brand and help us to build a sustainable future for our local coffee farmers,” stated Blake-Bennett.
About Salada Foods Jamaica
Salada Foods Jamaica entered the coffee processing industry in 1958 and has been listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange since its inception in 1969. Salada is a wholly Jamaican owned company that truly believes in the quality of productivity and potential of Jamaica’s coffee industry.
In 1973 Salada launched its flagship brand, Jamaica Mountain Peak coffee, which has quickly become a household favourite in Jamaica and across the region.