Salada Foods Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Coffee Growers Association (JCGA) have partnered to launch a coffee sustainability initiative called ‘Grounds for Growth’.
The project aims to repurpose Salada’s manufacturing byproducts into organic fertilizer material to cost-effectively improve the yield of local coffee farmers.
The initiative was launched with a hands-on workshop on a coffee farm in Cedar Valley, St Thomas, where a group of local small farmers participated in interactive demonstrations on sustainable farming practices. The farmers were taught about composting using spent coffee grounds to improve yields and other organic materials.
Dorienne Rowan-Campbell, JCGA vice president, emphasised the importance of training younger farmers through their Generation Next project, stating that without reaching younger farmers, there would be no coffee. JCGA president Donald Salmon also expressed his optimism about the partnership and its potential to address the challenges facing farmers.
Tamii Brown, Salada Foods Jamaica general manager, expressed her optimism about the partnership, noting that the viability of the local coffee industry requires innovation, collaboration, and action. Brown confirmed that through this collaboration, they will support a cleaner, greener Jamaica, where coffee farmers spend less to nourish their farms and enhance the quality and quantity of production.
Salada is the only local entity able to produce spent coffee grounds at scale for the farming community, generating an average of 240,000 pounds of spent grounds from each process run. Prior to the Grounds for Growth Initiative, Salada spent well over $1 million per process run on disposal for spent coffee grounds. To facilitate the initiative, Salada engages in additional activities such as drying, bagging, and delivery.
Through the JCGA, farmers can purchase a 100lb bag of spent grounds for $850.00 while stocks last. This allows farmers to ethically and cost-effectively substitute imported chemical fertilizers with locally sourced, organic spent grounds in compost for fertilizer.
The free, all-day workshop was attended by representatives from the University of Technology, Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority, Tourism Enhancement Fund, and St Thomas Jamaica Agricultural Society.
Salada Foods Jamaica has been a proud member of the Jamaican coffee processing industry since 1958, providing affordable and convenient coffee products under its flagship brand Jamaica Mountain Peak.