Ethics

bmce banner 2



women in dressespp.jpg Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is sourced by the processors under the invigilation of The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.

The coffee is currently not certified under any form of "Fair Trade" label but two estates, including our Clifton Mount Estate which is the only such certified coffee going to Europe, have secured Rainforest Alliance certification.

However, in the case of the independent farmers and smallholders, where the workforce is almost entirely family and neighbour based, the processors operate a pricing regime combined with a pre-funding and balancing payment mechanism which categorically favours the smallholder farmer. This operation has anticipated much which has subsequently become fashionable elsewhere. The processors, supported in part by the Coffee Industry Board, supply thorough extension services and support to the farmers covering fertilisers, etc. and, when and where necessary, spraying.

groundsmanpp.jpgThe Coffee Industry Board has operated an insurance scheme to assist farmers in time of hurricanes and other catastrophes.

In the case of the larger farms which sell to the processors, the workers are paid and employed under conditions regulated by strict Jamaican labour legislation. In this regard, wage and benefit levels are significantly higher than the regional, more particularly Latin American, norm. The workers tend to come from neighbouring communities and, in most cases, accommodation, recreation, educational, shaded, sanitary & medical facilities are near to hand. Few of the farms are isolated in this regard and have a reasonable and accessible infrastructure. The workers at the processing, sorting and warehousing facilities are provided with similarly well-adjusted wages and conditions as well as training.JAMAICA JANUARY 2006 029pp.jpg

The coffee is grown under naturally shaded and fauna-friendly conditions on vertiginous slopes. As the coffee is wet-processed, all the waste water resulting from the coffee processing is fully treated and purified before being released into the environment. Composting and waste mucilage recycling, as in the case of Clifton Mount Estate, are becoming the norm. Mavis Bank, under its new progressive ownership, is investing intensively in environmentally-friendly systems covering recycling and purification, whilst Clifton Mount Estate acquired Rainforest Alliance certification in 2011, which speaks for itself.

worker with mask onpp.jpg Although Jamaican coffee is not in the main certified as organic, nevertheless, a very discretionary and circumspect use of fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides is the rule. However, because of the high contingent value of the crop, the CIB and individual farmers could not undertake never to employ these agents. Soil erosion management practices are energetically pursued. coffee sorter ladypp.jpg All coffees can easily be traced back to the processor and a Certificate of Origin is issued with each batch. However, only in the case of the estates which are licensed to export can the coffee be traced back to a relatively few hectares of land. Nonetheless, it should be remembered that the total area of production is only around 6,000 hectares, the size of a large Brazilian fazenda. With a yield in a prolific year of somewhat over 1,000 metric tons of green beans - this consideration alone guarantees traceability. The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica has, over the past several years, conducted a worldwide campaign to ensure that the name Jamaica Blue Mountain is neither abused nor misrepresented. It has registered the JBM name, together with variations of the name and associated names such as Wallenford, in most countries. It has issued directions and guidelines on packaging labelling concerning the use of the JBM name, full details such as addresses, description, coffee preparation directions, expiry date and batch number, etc. The other processors have or are doing the same in order to protect their names.