Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, says the Government remains committed to creating the legislative framework to protect consumers’ rights, while increasing their confidence in the business environment.
“This means regularly reviewing and modernising our consumer protection laws, ensuring that there is effective redress for aggrieved consumers and empowering citizens to become more informed and responsible consumers,” he said.
He noted that as the Ministry with portfolio responsibility for consumer protection, “our business is about putting power in the hands of the consumer. They must be given the right tools and the necessary information to enable them to make informed choices. They ought to enjoy the same rights wherever they are in Jamaica and wherever they shop.”
“Both the efficient functioning of our markets and the well-being of our society depend not only on proper legislation and enforcement, but also, to a large extent, on consumer awareness and how individual citizens use their power of choice,” Mr. Brown added.
He was speaking at the book launch of ‘The Jamaican Consumer Story’ on Thursday (September 28) at the Olson Memorial Chapel in Kingston.
The book, written by noted consumer rights advocate and past president of the National Consumers’ League (NCL), Joyce P. Campbell, chronicles the history and development of the consumer movement in Jamaica. It is being distributed by Pelican Publishers and will soon be available at select stores.
Political Ombudsman, Donna Parchment-Brown, who was the guest speaker, praised Ms. Campbell for her work in consumer rights advocacy, which spans five decades.
She noted that the body of work has assisted in shaping national legislation, giving rise to a number of consumer protection agencies including the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Fair Trading Commission (FTC), Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), and the National Consumers’ League (NCL).
‘The Jamaican Consumer Story’ will assist us in respecting and celebrating our journey to this place and craft a place where our grandchildren can be proud and safe,” Mrs. Parchment-Brown said.
Others offering commendations to Ms. Campbell were Executive in Residence, Mona School of Business and Management, James Moss-Solomon; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CAC, Dolsie Allen; and Honorary Consul of Poland in Jamaica, Irena Cousins.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson