The Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) says it is undertaking a major enforcement drive to blunt the pervasive distribution and sale of counterfeit coffee purporting to be authentic Jamaican premium brands.
JACRA, which will be supported in the effort by the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA) and the Major Organised Crime Authority (MOCA), was established two years ago to regulate the processing and trade of Jamaica’s coffee, coconut, cocoa and spices.
JACRA estimates that the sector is losing millions of dollars to the illegal trade, largely in the misrepresentation of coffee. In addition, it says that the counterfeit products, which are often of substandard quality, pose serious damage to the integrity and reputation of genuine Jamaican specialty products – Jamaica Blue Mountain and Jamaica High Mountain coffee.
Given the real and potential damage to the regulated agricultural commodities sector, the anti-competitive effect of the illicit trade and its negative impact on the welfare of farmers and investors, JACRA says it must act.