One of my friends was telling of an incident that occurred whilst shopping at one of her local supermarkets in Spanish Town. She assisted 2 visiting Jamaicans who were pondering which of Jamaica’s instant coffee to buy.
In the end the visiting Jamaicans followed my friend’s suggestion and opted for the world renowned Jamaican owned Mountain Peak instant coffee.
My response to my friend’s story was that she might as well have suggested Nescafe as much of the coffee beans source found in Mountain Peak was probably not even from Jamaica.
My friend thought I was being flippant with that comment but I googled her a 2020 Gleaner article that highlighted how the Jamaican coffee regulators had mandated that Salada Foods (owners of Mountain Peak instant coffee product) increase the level of Jamaican grown coffee content in its production of Mountain Peak.
When I initially saw this article in 2020 I was really taken aback.
The local coffee regulators had demanded that Salad Foods increase the amount of Jamaican-grown coffee content found in Mountain Peak from its then current standing 10% to at least 30 %.
Mountain Peak is such a popular and well-loved product. It is cherished by Jamaicans at home and abroad. Foreigners love the rich aroma too.
Many Jamaicans buy Mountain Peak instant coffee out of a sense of pride and patriotism as well as an assumption that the product they are stirring in their cups is 100% Jamaican. Lie-mi- a-tell?
Jamaicans who grew up in the rural hilly areas have a deep love for locally grown coffee and adamant it has the best coffee in the world.
Some will buy also the top rated Blue Mountain either in its raw or instant version. But because of its steep prices and availability many have long opted for the Mountain Peak brand.
You see anything with Jamaica on its brand carries value and weight especially on the international market where the likes of Mountain Peak and other locally produced coffee make a roaring trade.
The question is though….. if you were in Brampton, Ontario, Canada or Harlesden, North London, England, would you be forking out for the premium price for a large bottle of Mountain Peak instant coffee?
We know in Jamaica the small coffee farmers have had a challenging time finding markets for its product and some have long given up cultivating it.
Not helped of course if the likes of Mountain Peak opting for international sourced coffee content may have hindered such farmers for making a success.
As it states on the bottle Mountain Peak it is a “ Product of Jamaica”. Can that ever be said of its primary ingredient.
Maybe Mountain Peak (and similar local produced instant coffee) should have on it label a breakdown where of the coffee content were sourced.
You never know, one day Jamaican coffee content could eventually find its way into Nescafe.
JACRA imposes use of 30% local coffee blend on Salada – Jamaica Observer, August 2020
Salada now compliant with JACRA quota rules – The Gleaner, January 2021