Concerns by the Public Health Department is being addressed

Norman Grant, President of the JAS say “Further to the headline in the Friday, June 23rd Gleaner ,” Denbigh Danger” and the Gleaner’s editorial of Saturday, June 24th entitled “ Norman Grant’s complacency” , please allow our response for publication and release , with our complete assurance to the thousands of patrons and partners of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, that the Jamaica Agricultural Society will be committing all the resources, efforts and commitment to stage the finest and the best ever Denbigh show. We also give our irrevocable commitment that all the areas of concerns by the Public Health Department is being addressed, and will be addressed well in advance of the staging of the show on August 5th to 7th .

We are working with the Public Health Authority for their guidance in resolving all the concerns raised and we are confident that we will earn their endorsement this year as we had in previous years.

Following this articles we have received several calls from patrons , sponsors and exhibitor enquiring about the show so based on the level of preparation and involvement we obligated to send out a detail release to advise that the was never under any threat as the JAS is working to address all the areas highlight.”

Norman Grant President of the JAS says further, On Saturday June 24th Dr Christopher Tufton reached out to the JAS through a call to me as President of the JAS and we agreed to an emergency meeting at the Ministry of Health at 4 pm on Saturday June 24, 2017 with the representatives from the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Public Health Department in Clarendon, the Ministry of Agricultural and Fisheries and Food Safely from the Ministry of Health to discuss a framework for the resolution of all the issues .”

The meeting I consider was very successful and the following was agreed to by the attendees/organizational representatives:

The following were agreed on:

  • JAS will implement, at the food court, the CHD’s protocols for Food Safety Activities at Temporary Events.
  • JAS will give food handlers advance notice about the their contractual obligations – including the need to possess a food handlers’ permit at the event,
  • Unauthorized vendors will confined to a designated area.
  • JAS will explore the hiring a company to handle liquid waste. The suggestion is for portable toilet stations to be placed in strategic locations on the grounds,
  • JAS will seek sponsorships to meeting the patrons need to be kept hydrated.
  • JAS will work with Clarendon Health Department and Ministry Of Health to identify areas mosquito breeding sites to ensure they are properly neutralized with the treatment prescribed by the Ministry.
  • The JAS has contracted a Food Health and Safety Consultant to be a part of our planning committee to strength our capacity in meeting and exceeding the Public Health Requirements.
  • JAS will discuss budgetary support with MICAF,
  • JAS, CHD and the MICAF will meet weekly to monitor the progress being made on the aforementioned items.

Dr. Tufton has asked for a weekly reports from the Clarendon Health Department. With the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show slated for August 5-7, it was agreed that all measures should be in place a week in advance. The first of this meeting will be held on Thursday June 29th at 2 pm at the Denbigh showground

Norman Grant says, the implementation of this framework will be with immediate effect and the JAS is confident that this will ensure that all will be in place for the staging of the 65th Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show.

Norman Grant says further “The Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show is the oldest, largest and most dynamic Agricultural Show in the English Speaking Caribbean and the Western Hemisphere and one of Jamaica’s most iconic events. It was held for the first time in 1952 and since then, has reminded us each year of what we have achieved in agriculture and its related sectors. The Denbigh Show has enjoyed success as the Caribbean’s premier agricultural event as it epitomizes wholesome family entertainment and seeks to attract over 80,000 patrons and 1000 exhibitors to the event annually. The Show has become a benchmark for showcasing agriculture and is a culmination of Parish Agricultural Shows island-wide. In essence, The Denbigh Show is the perfect platform for patrons and participants to become exposed to modern trends in agriculture and its related industries. The Denbigh Show will be stage by the Jamaica Agricultural Society on Collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Commence, Agricultural and Fisheries with our partners RADA, Jamaica 4 H and Titles Sponsors Hi Pro and Digicel. Other major sponsors include Delta Supplies Company, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Development Bank of Jamaica, Food for the Poor, St Jago Farm Store, RJR Gleaner Power Group , KFC, COURTS , JASCEL ,Rum Bar Rum and the Agricultural Diaspora Taskforce and many others.

The 65th Staging will be held under the theme: “Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow …..A salute to the Farmers….Nation Builders” scheduled for August 5-7, 2017 on the Denbigh Show Ground continues to showcase the work of our 250,000 farmers and fisher folks. We estimate that the cost to stage this year’s show will be approximately $100 million and is estimate to generate over $1 billion of economic activities for the Jamaican Economy and most importantly of significant benefit to the commerce of May Pen, Clarendon. Patrons will once again be given the opportunity to experience; Children and Family Village, Denbigh Health and Wellness Centre, Organic Village, Youth in Agriculture Village, Tourism Linkages, Denbigh Symposium, Farm Queen & Farming Competitions and Livestock Displays. Nightly entertainment will include the Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel Extravaganza and Digicel Rising Stars. All this for a daily entrance fee of $1000 for adults and $400 for children.

The JAS and MICAF will use this year’s show to continue to salute the farmers of Jamaica for the remarkable contribution to the development of the Jamaican Economy noting the sector’s over 7 percent contribution to GDP, the increasing of domestic crop production from 491,000 tonnes when the Eat Jamaican Campaign was launched in 2003 to record production of 668,000 tonnes in 2016, the reduction of our importation of food from US$100 million to $60 million per annual over the campaign period thus saving our economy over US$600 million. Our sector and farmers have help to stabilized the Jamaican Economy and in the fiscal period just ending increased the sector’s contribution to GDP from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent. We therefore believe that the time has come to recognize our farmers as the lifeblood and the backbone of our economy; thus Denbigh65 focuses on their sterling contribution over the years as we further celebrate Jamaica’s 55th Anniversary as an independent nation. On behalf of the Jamaica Agricultural Society and The Denbigh Show Committee we would like to thank our partners; Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, RADA, the Jamaica 4 Clubs all sponsors, exhibitors, agriculture stakeholders, patrons including our anticipated overseas partners , JAS management, staff, members, ABS Presidents and Commodity Board Chairpersons , farmers, and agencies for their continuous support to “THE DENBIGH65 SHOW.”

We invite all to be a part of the Denbigh Show 2017 experience, as we honour our farmers and build the sector that will drive sustained economic growth and food security, sovereignty and independence for Jamaica Land We Love. See you at Denbigh 2017 !”