Starbucks to help local coffee farmers
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda has sought to assure coffee farmers that the introduction of Starbucks to Jamaica will be good for the local industry.
Starbucks is expected to open its first store on the island in Montego Bay, St James, later in the year. The company and local licensee Caribbean Coffee Baristas Limited have plans to roll out a further 14 stores in Jamaica by 2020.
Samuda last week met with representatives from Starbucks and Caribbean Coffee Baristas in Montego Bay to discuss the rollout and the company's plans for local coffee farmers, building on the company's history of ethically sourcing arabica coffee from Jamaica for more than 40 years.
"I am impressed with the
company's commitment to the well-being of local farmers. They have told us that they will be working with not just the farmers who supply them, but the wider coffee farming community," said Samuda.
Samuda said that the island's dairy farmers will also benefit from the investment as the company buys more milk than coffee.
"Starbucks has also committed to using locally made furniture in its stores, so this really is a
win-win situation all around. It's great for Jamaica and it's great for Starbucks," Samuda said.
Ross Goldstein, director for Starbucks operations in the Caribbean, said the company is excited about expanding its
operations to Jamaica.
"As we get ready to open our first store in Jamaica, we are truly thankful for the opportunity to meet with Minister Samuda and the warm welcome we have received from many across this beautiful country," Goldstein said.
"We look forward to working together to build on our shared commitment to creating opportunities for Jamaica's coffee growing communities, in particular through C.A.F.E. Practices, our global
ethical sourcing programme."