THE EDITOR, Sir:
THE JAMAICA Manufacturers' Association (JMA), in response to The Gleaner article 'Shoddy imported tissue raises stink', published on February 3, 2013, supports the rejection of substandard imported products.
The article raised numerous concerns that the JMA echoes, such as the lack of proper monitoring of the ports, inequality in the treatment of imported items versus locally manufactured goods, poor regulatory framework, high bureaucracy, and an unfriendly business environment, which increases the cost of local production.
The JMA implores all authorised bodies to safeguard the welfare of consumers and reduce health risk by ensuring that imported products meet local standards. Local manufacturers deserve a level playing field and should not be rendered uncompetitive for meeting quality standards while we accept inferior and underinvoiced products from other countries.
To promote economic growth and the creation of employment, we implore consumers to support their own by buying quality Jamaican products. The JMA also urges supermarkets, retailers and distributors to stock Jamaican products, which provide consumers with easy access to local products rather than substandard imported ones.
Jamaicans are encouraged to trust locally produced tissue brands, which are manufactured at international standards, such as Spring Soft, Classic, Sophie and West Best, produced by Sanmerna; Lucky Star produced by J.W Manufacturing; Jewell produced by Jiffy Manufacturing; and Soft Delux produced by K&B Trading and Manufacturing Ltd. The JMA stands by these local companies, whose products are approved by Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and are guaranteed for safe usage.
The association calls for enforcement of import regulations by Jamaica Customs, proper monitoring of the shelves by BSJ, as well as sensitisation and public education of consumers about the products that they consume.
Association (JMA) Ltd