The Jamaica Coffee Growers Association (JCGA) is an economic-oriented local farmer organization involved in the coffee value chain with high export potential. The JCGA promotes and represents the interests of the small coffee producers, who are mainly small farmers with less than five acres (or two hectares) of land. The JCGA handles functions that are useful to the development of the crop-production, agro-processing, and marketing of the coffee producers through technical advice, marketing management, and price negotiations.
The JCGA was founded in 1995 as a lobby group for smallholder coffee producers. Its main function was initially lobbying for better prices and advocacy in the interest of the farmers. In 2013, the JCGA acquired an export licence for purchasing and exporting green beans. In 2015, the JCGA was rebranded as an independent NGO with a business and marketing branch. The JCGA is organized through an executive committee composed of 10 members and it is a board member of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS). Today, 27 coffee associations are affiliated to JCGA with a total number of 500 members (300 males/200 female).
From 2018, the JCGA is attempting to search its own markets, with the intent of cutting out the middlemen and marketing their own products. However, it still experiences a large hurdle in finding capital to expand processing facilities to prepare the beans for export. Throughout their trajectory, they have sought to diversify the market, looking for new purchasing partners to ensure the sustainability of the business.
The training activities offered to its members are adapted to address the evolution of its needs, including guidance on new technical practices such as coffee replanting, sustainable methods for dealing with climate change and nature-based products. The association is also considering expanding its services to include collective primary processing.