Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, says restructuring of the Coffee Industry Board (CIB), now underway, is to improve its effectiveness in addressing the needs of the industry.“We have sought to separate the board in terms of administration from the business aspect of it. Things are changing and we will have to change with the times,” Mr. Clarke said.The Minister was speaking at the CIB long service awards function held on December 19 at the Pollyanna Caterers and Banqueters on Stanton Terrace.Mr. Clarke said that a team has been put in place “to work to see how the industry can be improved.” “It is not just about regulation but how we can do many things to lift the profile of the Jamaican coffee. There are many problems, not the least of these, your problem with roads and we have to deal with that because there are farmers, who probably cannot reach their farms because of the bad roads. As Government, we have to concentrate where we ought to concentrate and those are some of the things we will commit ourselves to,” the Agriculture Minister said.He added that research and development is also important in the development of the industry.Mr. Clarke noted also that the price for coffee has increased on the market, and if the country does not increase its production “we cannot be in the business.”“There are many places trying to copy us and trying to tell the world that they have as good a coffee as we have but they cannot outclass us. The CIB must be there to ensure that the integrity of Jamaica’s coffee remains a top priority,” Mr. Clarke said.“Too many fly by night people like to invade the territory and do all kinds of things,” he added.The CIB principal role is to promote, regulate, monitor and guide the development of the coffee industry and to assure the quality of Jamaican coffee.The board owns the Jamaica Blue Mountain® and Jamaican High Mountain Supreme® coffee trademarks and is responsible for the integrity of the brand.The management of the CIB recognised and awarded 38 employees both past and present who have over the years contributed to the success of the board.
Children’s Rights, the non-profit organization that protects the rights of abused and neglected children in foster care throughout the U.S., hosted their 8th Annual Benefit on Monday.Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz at 8th Annual Children’s Rights BenefitEmmy Award-Winning casting director Sheila Jaffe, actor, philanthropist and community activist Rosie Perez and Frederic Dorwart, founder of Oklahoma-based Frederic Dowart, Lawyers, were each honored with the Children’s Rights’ Champion Award. Grammy Award-Winning producer Swizz Beatz hosted and deejayed the after-party.Alicia Keys at the Children’s Rights BenefitAlicia Keys, Lorraine Bracco and Vincent Pastore also attended the event.Lorraine Bracco and Darryl DMC McDaniels at the Children’s Rights BenefitThe evening served as a fundraising event highlighting the life-changing results CR has achieved over the past year, and helped the organization make a difference in the lives of thousands more children in foster care. Former foster youth, adoptive parents, child advocates and attorneys were on hand to talk about why they support CR. The evening also included a live auction, conducted by Hugh Hildesley, executive vice president of Sotheby’s.Rosie Perez at the Children’s Rights BenefitCR Board Member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels – hip hop icon from the groundbreaking group Run DMC – presented awards to Sheila Jaffe and Rosie Perez. Along with McDaniels, Jaffe founded the Felix Organization, which works to enrich the lives of children in foster care. Perez has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of kids through the Urban Arts Partnership, the We Are Family Foundation and other initiatives. CR Executive Director Marcia Robinson Lowry presented the award to Frederic Dowart, pro-bono counsel in CR’s campaign to transform Oklahoma’s dangerous child welfare system.Children’s Rights, a 501c3 non-profit, advocates for the reform of overburdened child welfare systems across the U.S. For almost 20 years, CR has used the law to hold governments accountable and defend thousands of kids when foster care systems fail. The organization has secured court orders mandating top-to-bottom child welfare reforms in more than a dozen states. As a result, kids are safer. They get the education and healthcare they need. They have better foster homes. And best of all, children find permanent, loving families more quickly, ensuring they have the brightest possible futures.For more information about Children’s Rights, click here.