History of the ‘Eat Ja­maican’ cam­paign

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

THE ‘EAT Ja­maican’ cam­paign was launched by the late Gover­nor Gen­eral of Ja­maica, Sir Howard Cooke, through a procla­ma­tion that was is­sued on Novem­ber 25, 2003, declar­ing Novem­ber 25 an­nu­ally as ‘Eat Ja­maican’ Day. This cam­paign is nor­mally com­mem­o­rated through a se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties. These en­gage­ments seek to cap­ture the essence of the procla­ma­tion as set out by the late gover­nor gen­eral.

This drive was born out of a vi­sion for us as a na­tion to ‘grow what we eat and eat what we grow’, recog­nis­ing that this is the way to re­po­si­tion the Ja­maican agri­cul­tural sec­tor through a process of in­te­grated ru­ral de­vel­op­ment as well as to de­velop a pro­gramme of sus­tain­able food se­cu­rity.

It is the hope that with the sup­port of con­sumers, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and farm­ers that this cam­paign will result in greater con­sump­tion of Ja­maican agri­cul­tural pro­duce that will con­tinue to in­crease lo­cal food pro­duc­tion as well as en­hanc­ing Ja­maican branded prod­ucts to en­sure con­sis­tency in the sup­ply.

It has been the task of the Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (JAS) to urge con­sumers to recog­nise, sup­port and to have a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the range and qual­ity of Ja­maica’s agri­cul­tural pro­duce and prod­ucts.

1. To re-es­tab­lish the fact that Ja­maica is an agri­cul­tural coun­try; that our rich­est her­itage ac­crues from ru­ral farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties; that all our best at­ti­tudes and val­ues are to be found in the tra­di­tional Ja­maican ‘coun­try life’; and that cen­tral to our Ja­maican cul­ture is the food that we pro­duce and the ways in which we pre­pare them.

2. Pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the di­men­sions of Ja­maica’s farm­ing sec­tor, from the small sub­sis­tence farmer to the large farm­ing op­er­a­tions; the economic im­por­tance in terms of jobs and in­come gen­er­a­tion; the success sto­ries, as well as the strug­gle for sur­vival.

3. To lift the morale of our farm­ers and their com­mu­ni­ties, re-awaken their appetite for pro­duc­tion, while, at the same time, at­tract­ing new and young farm­ers to the sec­tor.

4. To be repo­si­tioned as the vi­able and rel­e­vant farm­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion adding value to its mem­ber­ship by help­ing to cre­ate an at­mos­phere where wealth can be gen­er­ated for all through the in­flu­enc­ing of poli­cies that will ben­e­fit the sec­tor.

5. To cel­e­brate the glo­ries of Ja­maican cui­sine cul­ture, many ex­am­ples of which are the heart and soul of food fes­ti­vals.

6. To pro­mote the link­ages be­tween the agri­cul­tural and tourism sec­tors.

As we urge con­sumers to ‘Eat Ja­maican’, in the same breath we urge the farm­ers to in­crease pro­duc­tion and to be­come more in­te­grally in­volved in tak­ing them­selves to the next level, by of­fer­ing value-added prod­ucts with at­trac­tive pack­ag­ing. The JAS recog­nises the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing lo­cal pro­duc­tion in or­der to en­sure the sta­bil­ity of the agri­cul­tural sec­tor and by ex­ten­sion, na­tion build­ing. EXPOSITIONS Fri­day Novem­ber 25, 2016 - Devon House 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

CON­TRIB­UTED

From left: Don­ald Berry, first vice-pres­i­dent, Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (JAS); Steven Wed­der­burn, chief tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, MICAF; Se­na­tor Nor­man Grant, JAS pres­i­dent; Christo­pher Emanuel, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer; and Del­roy Red­way, St Ann parish pres­i­dent, at the launch of the Eat Ja­maican cam­paign 2016.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

From left: Nor­man Grant, pres­i­dent, Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (JAS); Dr Ron­ald Blake, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Ja­maica 4-H Clubs; Christo­pher Emanuel, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, JAS; and Stead­man Fuller, Cus­tos ro­tolo­rum, St Andrew, in deep dis­cus­sion about co­coa.

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