Sweet! Jamaica to add Coffee Festival to lineup of activities

A Chocolate Festival will soon be added to the list of festivals to be marketed as part of Jamaica’s tourism product.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, samples a product from Likkle Tea, at the Jamaica Rum Festival, on Saturday (February 29), at Hope Gardens in Kingston. Observing is owner and Tea Sommelier, Patrique Goodall. (Photo: Mark Bell/JIS)

The disclosure was made by Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, at the second staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival on Saturday (February 29) at Hope Gardens in Kingston.

According to Minister Bartlett, it is unknown to many that the Jamaican cocoa was once the feedstock for the famous Cadbury Chocolate in the 19th century.

“We now have a coffee festival, a rum festival and we are soon to have a chocolate festival.”

— Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett

He said the idea to develop a chocolate festival emerged from considering ways in which Jamaica could leverage its rum, coffee and cocoa – “very important cultural assets”.

“We now have a coffee festival, a rum festival and we are soon to have a chocolate festival. The three will come together to create that festival product which we will market together with rooms and air seats,” said Minister Bartlett.

“We must resurrect the value that Jamaica’s chocolate had in the past.”

— Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett

“Jamaica’s history has provided these wonderful cultural assets and it cannot be ignored. We must resurrect the value that Jamaica’s chocolate had in the past,” he added.

Jamaican chocolate beans (Photo: Island Herbs and Spices)

The Minister further noted that hosting festivals such as the Jamaica Rum Festival, Coffee Festival and Chocolate Festival is a way of celebrating the country’s identity.

“Having authentic Jamaican products elevated to the level where you can showcase and celebrate is really what drives people to visit,” said Mr Bartlett.