Career & Education

JP to supply schools, health facilities with green bananas

Offers over 75 per cent subsidy to public institutions

Sunday, December 16, 2018

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ST MARY, JAMAICA — Jamaica Producers (JP) Group in commemoration of its 90th anniversary which it celebrates in 2019, has announced that it will supply locally grown green bananas to public educational institutions under a new national feeding programme. The bananas will be sold at $5 per pound and will be supported by the JP St Mary's brand.

For JP, the year-long $50 million initiative, dubbed “The Heritage Project…Growing Goodness Together”, will see green bananas supplied in the first phase to schools, with a plan to extend the offer to health care facilities and registered charities. The arrangement will see one million pounds of locally grown green bananas channelled into schools as a part of their breakfast and lunch programmes at a 75 per cent discount relative to market prices.

Phase One of the project kicked off following a tour of the JP Farm in St Mary on Friday by the ministers of education, youth & information; health; and industry, commerce, agriculture & fisheries; and other government officials.

The Heritage Project's efforts starts with 20 schools, with plans to gradually engage others.

Jamaica Producers CEO, Jeffrey Hall said: “We want to play our part in ensuring that our country's most valuable asset, our children attending school, are provided with the appropriate nutrition that will improve their educational prospects.

“With almost 90 years in the business of farming and feeding Jamaicans, JP has been a part of this island's heritage. With this project, we are guaranteeing our further contribution to strong, bright and healthy Jamaican citizens. JP has already allocated one million pounds of green bananas from farm production for this initiative.”

He went on to note that bananas are packed with nutritional value, making the product ideal in the recovery process of the ailing. Bananas are rich in fibre, potassium, Vitamins C and B6, critical nutrients needed to improve the brain development in children and improve nerve and kidney function. They are also a good source of energy and can improve digestive health and lower blood sugar levels.

Jamaica Producers, through its subsidiary JP Foods, provides fresh fruits for snacking through its extensive street vendor programme across the island. The fresh produce line includes ripe bananas, green bananas, pineapples and coconuts grown and harvested in St Mary. The JP St Mary's brand operates from factories located in St Mary, Jamaica and Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic.

JP Farms is the first agricultural entity of any kind in Jamaica to be granted Global GAP certification for quality and environmental standards.

“Our products are of the highest quality, grown from soils of the Caribbean and delivered fresh from our farms to the consumers. Our fruits will never be sold with any harmful pesticide residues or contain any chemical preservatives,” Hall added.

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