Stir It Up: Rohan Marley fulfills his father’s farming dream with Marley Coffee

Ten years ago, Rohan Marley, Co-Founder and CEO of Marley Coffee, set out to fulfill one of the visions left by his late father to establish a business centered on giving back to the underprivileged and voiceless. Bob Marley always said he wanted to return to farming one day after his music career was completed, but he never had the opportunity after his passing in early 1981. Here is where the story of Marley Coffee begins.

Marley recalls a story from his childhood to help explain his desire to become a farmer and pass on the legacy his father had set forth so many years earlier. “The idea of farming was always interesting to me growing up as a child because my father, my mother and my grandmother would always discuss it,” he says. “My entire family still deals with farming. When I lived in Miami, we had a garden in the backyard where we grew all types of fruits and vegetables.”

He vividly remembers his grandmother drying their wild coffee berries in the sun, hulling and roasting them for her own cup of coffee each morning. But it was on a vacation years later to Jamaica where Marley came to the realization that farming was ultimately his calling.

“In 1999, a friend of mine introduced me to this land in Jamaica and when I first approached the land I fell in love with the river,” he recalls. “Once I purchased the land north of the river, I realized we had all of this land. There were fruits and coffee already growing on the land. So I figured I couldn’t let it go to waste. I said to myself I might as well learn the process of growing coffee and get into the full ideology of what farming is all about, but not just farming, but learning the intricacies of marketing coffee because it’s a real commodity around the world.”

Three years ago, Marley and his longtime friend Shane Whittle officially launched Marley Coffee in Jamaica, the United States and Canada. Marley Coffee is an international gourmet coffee company with corporate offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Los Angeles, California and Jamaica. The Marley Coffee 52 Acre Private Estate sits atop the Blue Mountains in Chepstow, Portland Jamaica. This land has been long revered in the region as the home of the world’s most desirable coffee beans.

The company’s core philosophy “ITAL” stands for all things Pure True and Vital – a sentiment embodied in the ethical treatment of the company’s farm workers on the Marley Coffee farm as well at the sustainable cultivation of coffee trees. Marley reinforces these principles of giving back to the communities that farm Marley Coffee products regardless of their location in the world. “My vision for Marley Coffee is that one day we will be fully sustainable,” he says.

“The whole movement is to teach the people how to become sustainable and build soccer academies for the children of Jamaica. We want to do things to benefit the people of Jamaica and help the coffee industry to grow in Jamaica, but not only in Jamaica, but all farmers throughout the world. We want to make things beneficial to the actual farmers who till the soil. The vision is to empower the farmers and children throughout the world.”

Marley Coffee founded the Kicks For Cause Foundation in order to give back to those who make Marley Coffee possible and to take responsibility for building healthy, happy communities. The Foundation aims to provide soccer fields and soccer camps to children of the coffee producing communities around the world beginning in Jamaica. Marley Coffee works to ensure no children are present or involved with the growing, harvesting or shipment of our coffee beans. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more children work in agriculture around the world than any other economic sector. Marley Coffee is changing this statistic one bag at a time.

“What we’re doing has a lot to do with charity,” he says. “If you check on, you will see we have a nice charity component involved with everything we’re doing currently.  Everything that’s done in the Marley family works simultaneously together. There is no division in what we’re doing. We couldn’t limit this endeavor to Jamaica because my father didn’t think of just one person, he thought of all people, so, as his son I couldn’t sell this to one person I had to make everything available to all nations.”

Currently, there are about 500 different locations that sell Marley Coffee in Jamaica, Canada and the United States. There are on-going discussions within the company for expansion plans to countries located in Europe, Central and South America before this year is over. After a recent trip to South Africa, Marley is also looking to expand Marley Coffee  there in the near future.

Preparing to launch in London before the end of this year, Marley Coffee will soon launch in Italy, Switzerland, England, France and Germany. “We recently shipped some products to Chile. We have some things working in Austria, but people go online to buy our products from all over the world right now,” he says. “I just visited South Africa during the World Cup and I had the opportunity to do some things with Marley Coffee while I was there.”

Marley Coffee offers an assortment of shade-grown coffee blends from the finest coffee producing regions in the world, including Central and South America, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. All of the coffees are certified organic by the USDA, and the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society of Canada (PACS), and comply by the company’s ITAL standards.

The 5 coffee blends offered are: Mystic Morning Wake Up Coffee Medium Roast, Simmer Down Organic Swiss Water Decaf, One Love Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Lively Up! Organic 5 Bean Espresso Blend and Buffalo Soldier Premium French Blend Light Roast.

Marley re-emphasises the importance of Marley Coffee using this company as a means to provide a brighter future to the people who directly impacted by unfortunate circumstances; “I want to let people know that we’re being progressive and doing things the right way with Marley Coffee.”

“We want to continue what we’ve started by helping people who are less fortunate than most. We desire to create business opportunities as well as teaching them a trade as opposed to just giving them monetary assistance. We want to teach them a craft and trade to further their learning abilities whether it’s from farming, designing, packaging and clothing.”

Marley desires to triple Marley Coffee’s distribution network, coffee shops and farming lands in the next five to ten years. He sees this as another opportunity to do more great things for the people and potential communities involved with solidifying the foundation of Marley Coffee.

It is evident that Bob Marley’s dream has become a reality through his son, Rohan’s hands.

Marley Coffee is currently available for purchase online at

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