Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Begins on March 23
The Tourism Linkages Network will be hosting the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival from March 23 to 25 at Newcastle in St. Andrew.
The festival is part of the initiatives to foster the strategic growth of culinary tourism in Jamaica.
The three-day event will showcase the rich tradition of coffee production in the Blue Mountain region and feature Blue Mountain coffee, coffee-related products, food stalls, tastings, demonstrations and workshops.
Speaking with JIS News, Senior Tourism Network Strategist with the Tourism Linkages Network, Simone Harris, said that the festival will be “all things coffee, packaged with food, entertainment, nature and culture in one weekend”.
Highlighting the various activities, Miss Harris noted that day one, dubbed ‘Trade Day’, will include business development workshops for coffee industry players, and is being hosted by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
“There will be presentations on different business development projects, information relevant to the farmers, and we will also be presenting on the agri-linkages exchange platform that is coming out of the Tourism Linkages Network,” she said.
On Saturday, March 24, the general public will be able to participate in various competitions, food demonstrations, as well as enjoy performances from the Charles Town Maroons, Dance Expressionz and Tarrus Riley.
Miss Harris also informed that there will be an hourly shuttle service from the University of Technology to the event in Newcastle.
The final day, dubbed ‘Experience the Jamaica Blue Mountain Culinary Trail’, will promote, showcase and facilitate tours and stops at the various eateries along the path.
A key component of the festival is the coordination of an Incoming Buyer Mission through the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) that will provide local producers of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee with access to new and existing markets.
With the assistance of JAMPRO, the festival will become an industry-specific platform for setting up business matchmaking appointments among coffee buyers, processors and exporters.
The festival is intended to create an event that attracts locals and tourists to the Blue Mountains; leverage the high quality and uniqueness of Blue Mountain coffee and the Blue Mountain experience, and promote export of coffee and coffee-related products.