Promote Jamaica-first food policy

Published: Saturday | December 14, 2013 Comments 0


I've been carrying out my own survey as it relates to the range of products carried in most tuck shops in schools. I'm not pleased to see that most of these products aren't manufactured in Jamaica, but in Trinidad.

What is more disheartening is the fact that, for each of these products that are imported from T&T, there is a similar locally made product available that is just as nice, if not better.

I strongly believe that legislation must be put in place to ensure that all government-run institutions stock and sell at least 70 per cent Jamaica-made products. If we are serious about growing our economy, we must start ensuring that we celebrate our creativity, support our manufacturing industry, support job creation and retention, and build nation pride.

People abroad can't get enough of us or enough of our products, yet we grasp the opportunity to import every junk dressed in pretty bags. Some are even further adorned 'for export only'. Shouldn't that make us curious?

If we continue down the path we trod, we will continue to lose the ingenuity of our people. After all, they'll realise that 'Buy Jamaican, Build Jamaica' is just easy to say and not practised.

Recent talk by the agriculture minister along this line of thinking has recharged my hope. I'm praying that he will pursue such a Jamaica-first policy with passion.

Let's start where it counts - in state-run agencies, especially tuck shops in government institutions!


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