Plantation History

1.1           Brief History

  • 1979 Linda and Nat Jaques set up the first coffee plantation in Australia, planting 120,000 coffee trees on their first plantation at Paddy’s Green, west of Mareeba, Far North Queensland.
  • 1984 Nat Jaques designed the world’s first coffee harvester and had it built at NQEA, the ship building yards in Cairns. The machine has totally revolutionised the coffee industry, as in Tanzania it required 300 people to hand pick the coffee but with the coffee harvester it takes one man to operate the machine to pick one tree a second.
  • 1985 Jaques Australian Coffee has formed a partnership with Woolworths and Coles
  • 1985 The Australian Coffee Growers Association (ACGA), was formed in 1985 by Nat and Linda Jaques and Ben Colbran. The aim of the organisation was to work together as an industry group to market Australian Coffee, share information, improve the image and maintain quality. Jason Jaques is currently the vice president of the ACGA.
  • 1985 to 2006 Collaborative marketing and promotion with ACGA.  Includes joint attendance at Coffee Festivals and Exhibitions such as the 2005 Coffee Festival in Melbourne, where various members of the association were in attendance and showcased all the growers in Far North Queensland. In addition the Sydney Fine Foods Exhibition, where Jaques Australian Coffee worked together with Bella Coffee sharing a booth to promote Australian coffee.
  • 1986 Entire plantation was lost in the Keating Recession.
  • 1990 Bought a new plantation on Emerald Creek, Mareeba, Far North Queensland.
  • 1991 – 2006 - Nat Jaques has continued to provide other coffee houses advice on the best methods of roasting coffee. A long term successful example has been The Coffee Works in Mareeba, Far North Queensland.
  • 1991 Cleared 200 acres of land and planted 50,000 coffee trees.
  • 1991 1996 - Coffee growing – coffee trees take 5 years to give a commercial crop.
  • 1996 DPI spraying program to eradicate a papaya fruit fly targeted coffee plantations in the area.  Destruction of all of the Jaques 50,000 coffee trees.
  • 1999 Replanted 25,000 coffee trees on new ground.
  • 2000 – 2006 - Nat Jaques teaching the West Papuans to grow coffee. All the processing equipment for West Papua was made at Granite Engineering in Mareeba and shipped over, then flown by helicopter into the remote communities. Water pipes were also flown in and for the first time the West Papuans have running water.
  • 2002 - Developed and launched Jaques Australian Coffee website.
  • 2002 - Implemented Mirco light flying and the training school in 2005.
  • 2003 – Created partnership with Mungalli Creek Diary.
  • 2003 - Created Jaques Coffee Liqueur - made with the coffee from the Plantation and combined with an alcohol made from the sugar cane in the area, making it not only Australian but from local ingredients. Ian Hewitson “Huey” gave it a big thumbs up during a recent visit for his television series and added it to the Tiramisu and a crème caramel with amazing results.
  • Jaques Coffee Liqueur has been endorsed by “Les Torque Blanches” the Executive Chefs of Queensland and has won a silver award in a Wine Competition. In addition, it has received the numerous other medals.
  • 2004 Developed and launched “ON Line Shop” in February 2004.
  • 2004 Linda was recognised by the NFIS along with 20 other women in Australia in a book called “Women of Taste.
  • 2004 Created coffee candy utilising local businesses the Jaques have created a coffee candy which is made at the Kuranda Candy Kitchen with the Jaques logo in the centre of the sweet. The two flavours include coffee and the coffee cherry. 
  • 2004 Set up Tropical Tastes Coffee Trail including 5 other local coffee houses. Jaques Australian Coffee as been instrumental in creating business partnerships with other local coffee producers.
  • 2005 Opened Jaques Plantation Visitors Centre in January 2005. Mick Borzi the mayor of Mareeba officially opened the Jaques Coffee Plantation Visitors Centre and acknowledged the contribution the Jaques family had made to the Mareeba Shire with pioneering the coffee industry. A record crowd of 500 people attended the opening.
  • 2005 The Plantation Tour was implemented in April.  The tour consisted of visitors being taken to the coffee trees and given a coffee cherry to taste and shown the process involved to remove the pulp, ferment the mucilage, wash and dry and finally remove the parchment and silver skins to get to the green coffee bean.  From there the famous Jaques Bean Machine then takes the visitors on a safari around the Plantation, taking in the Wet processing Plant and the Dry Factory. At this time the tour was only given in English.
  • 2005 The Jaques Bean Machine commenced in other languages including French, German, Japanese in November.
  • 2005 Linda was made vice president of the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce in a voluntary role.
  • 2006 Jaques Coffee Plantation produced 31 tonnes of coffee.

September 28th 2018 : More to come :)