‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’

‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’

Love Jamaica? Then you can help support the economy by purchasing Jamaican made goods and products…

This post is the result of an idea that has bubbled around in my head for sometime. How can I make a difference to Sweet, Sweet Jamaica, the land that I love? To travel here and enjoy all that the country has to offer, is one way of raising the Jamaican economy and profile, but I feel there has to be more to it than that. Jamaica is more than the sum of its tourist industry. What about the everyday Jamaicans that have probably never stayed in the big hotels they see springing up all over the island, how can we help to support them?

Employment Figures In Jamaica

The government statistics state that unemployment levels in Jamaica had risen to 14.3% in April 2012, up from 12.4% two years earlier. In order to curb unemployment levels and build the Jamaican economy we need to support home-grown manufacturers and producers of goods and products. This will increase demand and productivity levels, enabling the expansion of these companies, which will in turn increase demand for labour ~ and the employment of more Jamaicans. Simple Really.

I BELIEVE:

“Jamaica needs to start at ‘grass roots’ level, meaning that we should practise what we preach.”

Be Proud Of Jamaican Made Goods

What puzzles me is that I have never met a nation that is so proud of their country as Jamaica and its people. Yet, there seems to be a strong desire among Jamaicans to have internationally branded products in their homes and workplaces, over and above locally produced Jamaican goods.

Additionally, it is all very well to publicise the desire to increase exports and decrease imports into the country,  whilst attempting to draw in overseas companies to set up businesses or invest in Jamaica. But, if you aren’t supporting your own, why would anyone else want to?

Lets Break it Down!

If every one of us living and working in Jamaica makes a conscious effort to buy Jamaican products, instead of the international imported brands it will make a difference to the country. How does this work? Simple…

If we all made it our responsibility to seek out and buy Jamaican manufactured goods it would raise the profile, manufacturing capabilities and employment figures of these companies. By being awarded bigger contracts these manufacturers are afforded the chance of investing money back into their companies, further increasing their production levels and creating new jobs for more Jamaicans.

To a certain degree any product is only as good as its marketing and branding strategies. The more people see and hear about a product being used by others, the more it heightens their belief and desirability levels for the product too, thus increasing sales. In other words it is the general public who buy into products and brands making them popular, because after all we all like to keep up with ‘the Joneses’ (with each other). If we as a collective whole make a stand and deem that Jamaican products are ‘trendy’ and desirable as displayed through our buying power, then they will be. Watch and See!

How We Can Make A Difference

People living and working in Jamaica and fans of Jamaica from overseas, can make a difference to  the economy by familiarising yourself with Jamaican born companies.  Start purchasing products that have been grown, manufactured, made or produced in Jamaica.

When buying grocery shopping, cosmetics / toiletries, or products for the home, look for Jamaican grown, made or manufactured products and companies, instead of international brands. Eat fresh locally produced foods that are in season, get back into eating ground provisions – good old ‘hard food’, instead of cooking imported rice or flour (dumplings and fritters) every day.

In the workplace, if you are in charge of purchasing goods, materials, and products seek out Jamaican producers, manufacturers and suppliers of the goods that your business needs.

There are many ways you can support Jamaican Manufacturers as they are highly skilled in many areas, such as:

  • Chemicals, Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals Products
  • Electrical, Electronics and Automotive Products
  • Foods and Agro Products
  • Furniture, Wooden and Bedding Products
  • Gold and Silversmith Products
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Minerals and Metals Products
  • Printing, Packaging and Paper Products
  • Textile and Sewn Products

 

Major Players In the Growth of Jamaica’s Economy

Apart the general public’s purchasing power there are other major players in Jamaica that can make a difference to the economy. That is the working public, at all levels of employment. Every business place in Jamaica has someone in charge of purchasing, whether that be the secretary that buys stationary and sends post, to the purchasers of raw foodstuffs and materials in manufacturing firms, to hotels and financial institutions that buy furniture, equipment and manufactured goods and products, and not forgetting the hardworking higgler or vendor that sells everyday products.
If you work in an ‘office environment’ it could be something as simple as offering genuine Jamaican bottled water, coffee, tea and snacks at meetings, purchasing stationary and furniture from Jamaican manufacturers, buying Jamaican paper products for the rest rooms and the printer and so on…
There is also a myriad of other Jamaican entrepreneurs who work in creative industries, such as, marketing and branding companies, website building companies, videography, cinematography, production, photography, printers and so on, give them your business…
If you work in a retail outlet, hotel or tourist site, buy, use and re-sell Jamaican made foodstuffs, furniture, stationary, uniforms, paper products, cleaning products, cosmetics and so on…
Use your imagination, set your children the task to look for Jamaican made products when shopping and buy them…

Major Jamaican Players That Can Make A Difference

As individuals we are more powerful when we come together to achieve something, but there are other mass purchasers of products and goods that have far bigger spending power than us. Who are they? Private and Public Companies. Let me introduce some of the major players who I feel should be more aware of their actions and ought to be taking the Jamaican economy seriously, by utilising Jamaican grown businesses when purchasing goods and products:

  1. Jamaican government bodies, including their  institutions, agencies, associations  and organisations, such as, courts, schools, hospitals, emergency services….
  2. Hotels and tourist industry businesses….
  3. Retail outlets, including supermarkets, department stores, boutiques and vendors….
  4. Financial and Insurance Companies….
  5. Overseas Companies with offices in Jamaica….
  6. Manufacturing and Processing Plants….

To Finish

In my quest to encourage everyone to  ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’ and to raise the profile of Jamaica’s industries, manufacturers, farmers, companies, outstanding individuals, products and brands, I shall be writing profiles on Jamaican people and companies big and small in the hope of making my ‘likkle’ contribution to Jamaica.

Remember, buying locally not only ensures the livelihood of Jamaican companies, it also assists in the creation of new jobs which helps to kick-start other areas of the economy as well. Think About It – Make Your Contribution.

Or, as they would say in Jamaica ‘one, one coco full basket’, in other words every little bit helps – if we all make a small contribution to something, it will succeed and overflow in the end!

Sweet Jamaica ~ Jamaica’s Sweet!

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