Thursday, 14 July 2016

LOCAL MADE, GLOBAL REACH: ‘Building Brand Jamaica must involve the youth’ – Kamina Johnson Smith

DUTY CALLS: The minister attending the 46th General Assembly of the OAS; with Caribbean Women of Florida reps at a recent Diaspora Summit.

The Diaspora continues to play a definitive role as Brand Jamaica further solidifies its place in the international sphere. Recognizing this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is fortifying its partnerships with local companies that reach a global audience, especially the youth.

“As part of our strategy to enhance and expand the relationship with our Diaspora, my ministry is placing emphasis on the younger generation. This is critical for the sustainability of the Diaspora movement,” said foreign affairs minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who was delivering the keynote address at Monday’s launch of the 2016 GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme at company headquarters in Downtown Kingston.

“We have begun the discourse with several young people in New York and Florida. I intend to continue this process whenever I travel to a Diaspora location. It is my firm belief that we can also learn from you, our private sector partners, as we develop strategies and programmes to reach young people in the Diaspora, with the aim of maintaining an affinity to our beloved nation.”

Protecting the national brand and preserving our legacy abroad is 24/7 work, Senator Johnson Smith makes clear, but she remains committed to her leadership role when it comes to this task. “The Jamaican brand is a powerful one and is easily recognized around the world. I am pleased to report that we are now making strides to protect our brand. In 2015, Jamaica became the first English-speaking country in the Caribbean to register a geographical indication through the registration of Jamaica Jerk with the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office,” the minister revealed. “This designation means that for any product to have the “Jamaica Jerk” label, all of its ingredients must originate in Jamaica.”

In the meantime, the minister also pledged the government’s support for the longevity of Grace’s birthright programme. “It is yet another initiative that demonstrates the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, not only in Jamaica but in the jurisdictions in which GraceKennedy is established,” she said. “We look forward to collaborating on more projects with GraceKennedy, and the private sector in general, as we seek to positively impact the lives of young Jamaicans.” 

> TAKE ME HOME: Four college kids earn ‘birthright’ internships

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