Not-So-Cool Runnings: $310 Million In Aid For Cash-Strapped Blue Mountain
Feel da riddim! Feel da rhyme! C’mon everybody, it’s massive federal loanin’ time!
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, yesterday (December 14) announced a $310.5 million emergency loan fund for coffee dealers, which will provide them with cash flow to meet capital requirements.
The loan has become necessary due to the inability of dealers to sell excess stock, as a result of low demand in the major Japanese market. “At present, the sector is running at huge excess capacity, as demand is not close to matching the supply” In addition, he said, Japanese importers, which purchase 90 per cent of Blue Mountain Coffee, and have traditionally advanced payments to marketing companies to meet expenses, have indicated that they would not be able to advance those resources due to the global recession.
The Agriculture Minister said that the loan “should signal a major restructuring that will have to take place if the coffee industry in Jamaica is to survive and to go forward in a sustainable way.”