Den­nis Boothe new chair of Com­modi­ties Author­ity

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Avia Collinder Busi­ness Re­porter

GUSLAND MCCOOK, act­ing di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural Com­modi­ties Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (JACRA), has con­firmed that busi­ness con­sul­tant Den­nis Boothe has been ap­pointed chairman of the board of JACRA.

JACRA’s first chairman, Richard Pan­do­hie, re­signed soon af­ter tak­ing the po­si­tion last year.

McCook said that a new board has been named al­though con­sist­ing pri­mar­ily of the same mem­bers as in 2018.

“A board has been named. It has not changed much. It is pretty much the same as what was there be­fore,” McCook told the Fi­nan­cial Gleaner.

He said that Boothe would bring to JACRA “a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially from the cof­fee per­spec­tive. He was on some boards prior to now. For some­one who has been there and done that in both fi­nan­cial and agri­cul­tural cir­cles, I am sure he will bring a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to this new en­ter­prise”.

JACRA, the new com­modi­ties reg­u­la­tor re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the co­conut, spices, cof­fee, and co­coa sec­tors, launched op­er­a­tions in Jan­uary 2018.

In one year of op­er­a­tions, it has been be­set by con­tro­versy as pro­duc­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers protested a new cess im­posed in March last year. The cess is in­tended to fund JACRA’s op­er­a­tions, which in­clude reg­u­la­tion of prod­uct qual­ity.

It be­gan to im­pose fees on grow­ers and pro­ces­sors and non-agri­cul­tural traders with a cess on six crops – turmeric, gin­ger, pi­mento, cof­fee, and co­coa, rang­ing from US$0.18 to US$2.40 per kilo­gramme, with cof­fee fac­ing the high­est charges.

Pay­ment of the cess by a grower, pro­ces­sor, man­u­fac­turer, im­porter or ex­porter is due 10 days af­ter the sale of the prod­uct. The charge dou­bles if the en­tity fails to ad­here to the pay­ment sched­ule. They must also file an­nual sales records with JACRA, for which a breach in­curs a fine of $3 mil­lion.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers protested the in­crease in costs last year.

When con­tacted, Boothe said that he had no com­ment re­gard­ing changes ex­pected in 2019, not­ing that he had not yet been of­fi­cially briefed.

Boothe is a for­mer banker and chairman of the Fi­nan­cial Sec­tor Ad­just­ment Com­pany.

He is de­scribed on­line as a busi­ness-turn­around con­sul­tant focused on help­ing emerg­ing busi­nesses achieve op­er­a­tional and rev­enue growth.

He is also a for­mer gen­eral man­ager of Ja­maica Cit­rus Grow­ers Lim­ited and was also an In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund ad­vi­sor in South Su­dan.

Boothe also served as special ad­vi­sor to the min­is­ter of fi­nance dur­ing 2008.

Den­nis Boothe has been ap­pointed chairman of board of direc­tors for the Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural Com­modi­ties Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (JACRA) ef­fec­tive De­cem­ber 27, 2018.

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