JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaican agricultural produce could soon reach the United Kingdom market within 10 days, based on a pending agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and a major shipping line.
  • Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said currently Jamaican products get into the United Kingdom market in 23 days, which pose challenges for the exporter and the importer.
  • Mr. Kellier was addressing the opening of the 2015 Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Falmouth, Trelawny, on February 18.

Jamaican agricultural produce could soon reach the United Kingdom market within 10 days, based on a pending agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and a major shipping line, which will shortly be operating directly between both countries.

Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said currently Jamaican products get into the United Kingdom market in 23 days, which pose challenges for the exporter and the importer.

“In recent times, Jamaica has lost out on direct shipping links between Jamaica and Britain due to a reduction in our export trade. Most shipping lines have routed themselves through Rotterdam, which is not convenient for fresh produce, because it takes up to 23 days to arrive in the United Kingdom. The recent resumption of the export of bananas to the UK was facing this very serious challenge,” the Minister said.

Mr. Kellier was addressing the opening of the 2015 Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Falmouth, Trelawny, on February 18.

The Minister said that coming out of discussions held on his recent trip to London, England, with officials of a major shipping company, Jamaican agricultural produce could be available in the UK in 10 days.

“On our recent mission we secured agreements from a major shipping line to accommodate feeder vessels from Kingston directly to their main vessels sailing from the Dominican Republic to the United Kingdom. With the net effect of our produce landing in England is 13 days, the same shipping line is further exploring calling on the port of Kingston later in the year and sailing directly to the United Kingdom in 10 days,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said with the demand for more Jamaican agricultural produce in the export market, farmers must now understand that consistent quality and delivery form a major part of the programme.

“I want the farmers to understand that we have to be consistent with our supply and our entire production chain must be Global Gap certified. Today, some 5,000 farmers islandwide have been sensitized on the Food Safety Modernization Act and trained in pesticide management and record keeping, and 200 have been certified for good agricultural practices,” he said.
The Minister explained that Global Gap certification is now a requirement for the export market and the Government will be spending some $100 million in the 2015/16 financial year on a certification programme, with a major focus on all agro-parks.

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