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Waking up and smelling the real problem with Jamaican Coffee

T

he news report in one of Jamaica’s largest news sources stated, “The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday announced an emergency loan facility to cash-strapped coffee dealers valued at $310.5 million in order to cover working capital requirements and avoid disruptions in the export of the luxury crop.” A number of points automatically stand out in the excerpt, the size of the sum of course, the fact that it is an emergency loan facility but to me the most significant part was at the very end… ”luxury crop”. Coffee is indeed a luxury crop and in the world of luxury crops and high end coffee our Blue Mountain brand is no slouch. I understand wholly the woes of the Jamaican coffee industry that stem from high operating costs, our devalued currency and the increasing frequencies of those pesky weather systems but I can’t help but to think that there needs to be as great an emphasis on where our coffee is sold as much as where it is produced.

Exports of our coffee has fallen a whopping 58% in the first six months of 2010 which was attributable to a

Coffee is indeed a luxury crop and in the world of luxury crops and high end coffee our Blue Mountain brand is no slouch. fall off in purchases from Japan which is still suffering from its financial crisis and currently is responsible for 90% of all coffee purchases from the island. Currently the most expensive coffee in the world is the Indonesian produced Kopi Luwak whose popularity grew leaps and bounds after a worthy mention in the 2007 Jack Nicholson film, the Bucket List and an association with mega-brand, Starbucks. Of course we won’t be able to duplicate the urban legend-like production of Kopi Luwak, unless we start importing mammals to add that “special” touch to our coffee, but we have to start focusing on the enhancing the end user relationship.

There are websites created for far less important products than coffee that look way more first world than that particular site. We need to take the promotion of coffee into our own hands and ensure that we’re not held ransom by the capabilities of one particular market. It’s all in our focus and at times it seems like we’ve always been focused on the smaller picture.

No offense to the Japanese, but supplying 90% of a crop to one place is a recipe for disaster as is evident by what has happened this year. What has happened to our marketing push into the United States and Europe? Have we completely ignored social media and new media in the promotion of our product that is of undeniable quality? The success of obscure beer brand Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting man in the world” campaign should prove that excellent marketing still works. Our laurels must be positively threadbare from the amount of resting that is being done on them; the Coffee Industry Board’s website is definitive proof of that. yourmoney ezine


business lounge by Andre Burnett

what sports betting means for jamaica

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amaican gaming company, Supreme Ventures Limited, launched its sports betting service at a time that could not have been more perfect. Just Bet, as it is called, was launched close to the beginning of possibly the biggest sporting event in the world and definitely the most watched in Jamaica, the FIFA World Cup of football. Of course, Just Bet was a hit during the World Cup as avid football fans tried their hand at predicting the outcomes of matches they had waited four years to see. Some took it as a one time experience, but there were a lot more who realized that football is played every weekend and basketball almost every night. Sports Betting has started to come alive in Jamaica, and one wonders what effect it will eventually have on our economy and more importantly, the social effect on our people.

The unfortunate consequence of sports betting is that it leads to the question of the overall integrity of the sports we love and follow. Sports betting has a particular appeal because it is wagering on something that many people watch and follow for fun, anyway. There are millions of people worldwide who spend hours daily making up fantasy teams for different sports, with no other reward but their own personal satisfaction. This love of sports, the removal of any form of stigma that is associated with live gambling

and the appeal of making a little money off something you love, is a winning combination for the betting industry. The unfortunate consequence of sports betting is that it leads to the question of the overall integrity of the sports we love and follow. Because of the spreads that are published before the games, there have been numerous instances of match fixing, points shaving and all of the possible ways of influencing sports. Just Bet even allows betting on local football, and who knows what effect that will eventually have on local sports.

in a society which is becoming increasingly tech savvy, should be a boon for Supreme Ventures and possibly the tax collectors. As it stands, are we willing to give up some amount of social and moral ground to gambling for economic reasons or have we done so already? Should we lobby for stringent taxation on all winnings from gambling to ensure that we at least benefit from whatever negatives may come from gambling? Whatever the outcome may be someone is sure to collect some form of winnings. advertisment

Despite all the possible ramifications that come from sports betting, it is more than likely here to stay, so what can we hope that the industry contributes to our economy? In the United States where sports betting is restricted to only a number of states such as Nevada, the industry has been a boon for these states. Our very own sports betting industry, even as small as it is now, will provide employment and tax dollars for our government. One of the few industries to be unaffected by the financial crisis last year was online sports betting, which is a direction that Just Bet will be sure to progress. The ease of wagering that is involved in online sports betting yourmoney ezine


special

coffee consumption

worldwide

Europe In Europe, demand for coffee has increases by 0.4 percent per year to 3.1 million tonnes (51 million bags) in 2010. The European Community (EC) is projected to account for 2.2 million tonnes (36 million bags), or 68 percent of total consumption in Europe.

brazil

The annual consumption of over 5 kg per capita in Brazil is exceptionally high among the over 60 coffee-producing countries. Brazil’s annual production of around 2.4 million tonnes (40 million 60-kg bags) makes up a third of the world production of just over 7 million tonnes.

usa

Daily consumption of coffee beverages among consumers remained consistent in 2009 with 54% of the overall adult population partaking. This is statistically on par with the 2008 figure.

japan

Responsible for 90% of Jamaica’s total coffee exports, with a population of over 127 million Japan imports 7.29 million bags annually.

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