19 Apr, 2021
Coffee Solutions Limited, http://www.coffeesolute.com
- Enhanced Productive Capacity and Efficiency
- Product Enhancement (quality, packaging, etc.)
- Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation
- Increase in staff – 1 (part-time)
- Increase in exports – 2019 – 10%
- Increase revenue/sales – 2019 – 10%
- Reduction in Energy Costs/Consumption – 110%
- Sector Impact – increased profit margin for farmers
- Reduced Operational Costs and/or Wastage – 20-30%
Coffee Solutions Limited (Coffee Solutions) was registered in 2006 and has become a global player in the roasting and exporting of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. The company provides equipment and machinery for pulperies, coffee factories and shops and offers consultancy services in the post harvesting and cultivation of coffee to clients.
Coffee Solutions needed to improve the storage of its coffee beans to ensure quality and consistency of the products for the export market and become more competitive. To achieve this Coffee Solutions set out to reduce energy costs, generate revenue and decrease its carbon footprint on the environment.
Coffee Solutions undertook the implementation of an energy efficient, cost cutting and quality improvement venture under the Direct Grant Assistance Scheme (DAGS) in 2018 funded by the European Union via the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme. The funds were used to improve the company’s competitiveness, growth, and long-term sustainability. The project comprised the installation of a solar power system/photovoltaic renewable energy system to lower energy costs and reduce the company’s impact on the environment. The project also included the acquisition of a shipping or trucking container to be retrofitted as a green coffee beans storage facility, and the installation of a solar power system to provide temperature and humidity-controlled storage to improve the quality of green beans and to ensure more consistent finished products going to market.
After project implementation Coffee Solutions saw a 20% reduction in energy costs. The electricity bill was reduced from JMD25,000 to JMD5,000. Exports increased in 2019 by 10%; quality improvement were realized in the stored green beans, and more consistency was observed in the finished products. Members of staff gained knowledge on the efficient use of energy and control storage system.
Medium-term Results and Impact
In the medium-term Coffee Solutions saw a 15% increase in export sales and a 10% increase in revenue in 2019. The company was also able to retain its current employees, provide extended working hours for temporary employees and increased staff by 10% or 1 employee, because of the DAGS project. The installation of the new storage facility resulted in a 20-30% reduction in the cost of the company’s coffee beans; improvements in the quality of beans; and an increase in the length of time that the products can be stored.
Coffee Solutions also installed a photovoltaic energy system that generates an estimated 10% energy surplus which is sold into the national grid. The company now earns revenue through this system. The company has also seen a 110% reduction in energy costs/consumption because of the installation of the system.
The cost savings have enabled the company to restructure its pricing mechanism and offer small farmers lower prices for contract processing services. The coffee farmers in Jamaica, importantly, include women, who can now access more competitive rates for processing and thereby increase their profit margin.
In addition, the implementation of nine renewable energy system projects has reduced and, in a few cases, eliminated the use of energy generated from non-renewable sources. By using less non-renewable energy, the carbon footprints of small farmers in the industry have been equally reduced.
“The Direct Grant Assistance Scheme is impacting regional businesses in a positive manner. It allows companies to undertake project[s] three to five years in advance of the company’s realistic projection. The funding facility should continue to help Caribbean firms achieve their full export potential.” Basil Jones, Managing Director