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Nestlé Partners with Stoneleigh to Produce Premium Jamaican Coffee

The new Nescafé Jamaican Roast.

Food distribution company Nestlé Jamaica has partnered with Stoneleigh Coffee to produce a roasted and ground coffee aimed squarely at the premium market.

The product, branded Nescafe Jamaican Roast, will be sold in one-pound and half-pound packaging. It is 100 per cent Jamaican Arabica coffee grown at high elevations that Nestlé will source from farmers in the area, said Country Manager Daniel Caron.

Nestlé Jamaica has a co-manufacturing arrangement with Stoneleigh, the terms of which were not disclosed. Caron said his company’s investment was limited to packaging and marketing.

Nestlé already distributes retail coffee in Jamaica, but it’s imported prepackaged. Nescafe Jamaican Roast will be the first locally made coffee product for the Swiss-owned company. It will be distributed in Jamaica and in markets overseas.

Caron said Nestlé saw the opportunity to deepen its coffee footprint after regulator Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority raised concerns of the surplus beans in inventory for which there is no market.

“After learning of the coffee industry’s situation and, by extension, the coffee farmers in Jamaica, we took the opportunity to align the world’s largest coffee brand, Nescafe, with one of the world’s most coveted coffee markets. This is a win-win for all stakeholders,” he said.

Stoneleigh, which is principally controlled by St Clair Shirley, David Shirley and Stephen Shirley, will process and package the coffee from its factory at Mavis Bank, in the hills of St Andrew.

“The partnership with Stoneleigh Coffee is a long-term, strategic partnership. We have committed to purchasing 40 tonnes of local coffee and there is no set termination date. Exports will commence this year,” Caron said.

In Jamaica, Nescafe Jamaican Roast is targeted at supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, offices and catering services. It will also be distributed through Nestlé’s e-commerce channel. Caron was reluctant to state the likely cost of the product, but noted that it would be high-priced, like others in its class.

“We will price it in line, to be competitive with the existing premium coffees in the market,” he said.

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

by: Neville Graham

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