Updated: Mar 15, 2020
We were sitting in the Jamaican sun, soaking up the atmosphere when the man we were here to meet appeared.
"This is Hope Road. These are the steps of Hope Road. When you hear someone say 'I am sitting on the steps', these are the steps, you know. My father, my brothers, friends for years and years we sat here you know, yeah, Hope Road."
Rohan Marley, 6th child of the legendary reggae singer and devout Rastafarian Bob, looked every bit the image of his father and I could easily imagine generations of Marley family members sitting on this very spot!
My fellow Associated Press Journalist and I had arranged to interview Rohan as part of a travel and news item that we were filming in Jamaica. Coffee in hand, Rohan guided us onto an old bus and we headed out into the Blue Mountains. We listened to some of Bob's lesser known tracks and enjoyed the magnificent views as we made our way along the small mountain tracks to the two acre Marley coffee plantation.
In 2009 Rohan co-founded Marley Coffee to honour his father's dream of one day returning to the farming ways of his childhood. It was Bob's hope that he would be able to share the principles of love and social responsibility with the rest of the world.
Rohan and his dedicated team take the rare bean found in the Blue Mountains and produce a coffee that is ranked within the top ten coffees of the world and it is truly delicious!
"Why Marley Coffee?" I asked Rohan
"Why 'Marley Coffee', because I am Rohan Marley and this is my coffee. I mean no special reason why it is 'Marley Coffee' but we choose to utilise our name because we want to represent the brand to the fullest and we want everyone to know that we stand behind the movement of sustainability. So that's one of the main reasons that its Marley Coffee, because we represent this place and what we are doing,"
During the tour of the plantation, Rohan's love of nature, knowledge and passion were clearly evident. A visionary and talented entrepreneur, he strongly believes that respect for the earth and good community farming offers new hope for rural Jamaica.
We were introduced to Mr Willis, a wonderful character who had worked with coffee for 50 years. He spoke passionately of how Blue Mountain Coffee supported his family and of how the land was the life and soul of the local community. The day was scorching so we joined Rohan and his workers in a swim at the local creek to cool down. Bliss!
Once we had completed filming we enjoyed a cup of the fabulous Blue Mountain Coffee along with Rohan. As I sat looking out over the beautiful plantation and considered all that was being achieved here, I was certain that Marley Coffee will continue to contribute significantly towards Bob's vision of a fairer world.