JP to supply schools, health facilities with green bananas
Jeffrey Hall (left), CEO of JP Group and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw inspect a freshly cut bunch of green bananas in the Polo Common Pack House during the launch of the JP St. Mary’s Heritage Project and Farm Tour on Friday, December 14.
Jamaica Producers Group has announced that it will supply locally grown green bananas to public educational institutions in a new National Feeding Programme.
The company said the move is in commemoration of its 90th anniversary, which it celebrates in 2019. 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 healthcare facilities and registered charities. The arrangement will see one million pounds of locally-grown green bananas channeled 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 Heritage Project kicked off following an official tour of the JP Farm in St Mary on Friday, December 14, 2018 by the Ministers of Education, Youth & Information (MOEYI), Health (MOH), and Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries, and other Government officials.
The Heritage Project starts with 20 schools, supplying them with fresh local produce. Other schools across the island are also encouraged to take full advantage of JP’s offer.
JP said the Project is in-keeping with a call from both the Health and Education ministries for schools to provide healthier food options at their canteens.
Jamaica Producers CEO, Jeffery 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.” Hall explained.
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, Vitamin 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. JP St Mary’s is the market leader in Jamaica for tropical snacks and fresh produce and 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 G.A.P. 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 said.