Vox pop for Western Focus
What do you think can be done to prevent the destruction of the pimento industry?
Olivia Sewell, firefighter
"Educate persons about the advantages of the berries in comparison to the leaves; or maybe more pimentos could be planted, some just for the berries and the others solely for the leaves."
Orane Kentish, tour operator
"If we can get markets for the pimento where people who have trees can get to sell their berries, that would help. A lot of people have pimento trees and cannot make any money, so they will sell the leaves because they need the income. Trucks are not driving to communities anymore to buy berries like in the 1980s."
James Thompson, tour operator
"We need to educate people about the value and versatility of the pimento berries, which fetch a higher price on the world market at $80 compared to Blue Mountain coffee, which is $50. This must be done against the background that if the leaves are chopped, the berries won't come and you will destroy a very valuable spice industry here in Jamaica."
Everton Lawrence, musician
"The authorities can talk to the tree-strippers and tell them not to strip all of the leaves and branches; they should leave some on the trees so that berries can grow."