Farm Up Jamaica Launches Shop For A Cause

AURTHOR  Berl Francis
A Diaspora organization called Farm Up Jamaica has launched a groundbreaking new business partnership program called SHOP FI A CAUSE (Shop For a Cause). Through this program, participating businesses can fulfill their social responsibility by contributing a tax-deductible percentage of their sales to the Farm Up Jamaica charity. Farm Up Jamaica Ltd. is a New York based non-profit organization which was founded and is being funded by Jamaicans living in North America. Its Executive Director is Neil Curtis. The organization’s main objective is to reduce the importation of foreign food to Jamaica by strategically farming produce which are currently being imported, and increasing export of high quality organic, non-genetically modified (non-GMO) produce.

With a Board of Directors made up of Jamaicans living in the New York Tri-State Area, Farm Up Jamaica has recently added to its Board, Dr. Julius Garvey, a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon and the son of Jamaica’s National Hero Marcus Garvey. Dr. Garvey, who was named Farm Up Jamaica’s Strategic Research and Development Director, has contributed breadfruit trees to multiple Farm Up Jamaica projects, in an on-going effort to raise awareness on how these trees can offer significant environmental protection, food security and economic growth for the agricultural sector. For years, he has been a major donor of breadfruit trees to several Caribbean countries because of their ability to combat global warming, and the significant nutritional value of the breadfruit.

Farm Up Jamaica provides comprehensive assistance to organic farmers in the island by securing markets both locally and internationally, subsidizing the preparation of land, building access roads, providing machinery and irrigation, adding surveillance systems to combat praedial larceny, and providing seeds, harvesting, and transportation of food to buyers. The organization’s focus on climate-smart biodiversity aims to provide nutritious food, while creating a platform for economic advancement to positively impact the Jamaican economy.

The organization has developed Jamaica’s first organic, non-genetically modified scotch bonnet pepper seed bank in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Farm Up Jamaica is in the process of cultivating five acres of organically grown onions in Manchester as a pilot project. Currently the demand for onions in Jamaica is 10,000 tons per year; the island imports 90% of its onions. It has also initiated a major ginger growing project in Haddo, Westmoreland, which is intended to be used to produce ginger oil for export. The project is a partnership between doTERRA, a Utah-based company that is the world’s largest seller of essential oils, and Farm Up Jamaica. Most recently, the company has initiated a project to grow sweet peppers.

According to Neil Curtis, Farm Up Jamaica, it pays to give to Farm Up Jamaica. “Participating businesses are poised to see an increase in profits, as the fast-growing, global community of conscious consumers is eager to shop at businesses that support a worthy cause. “Customers would come in to Sam’s Caribbean Marketplace for one (1) can of ackee and end up buying six (6) cans once they realized they were supporting Jamaican farmers with their purchase,” says Mr. Curtis. “ All Shop Fi A Cause contributions go towards helping to reduce importation, increase exports, revitalize Jamaican Agriculture and create Green Jobs through organic farming.”

Farm Up Jamaica has streamlined the popular point-of-sale donation process and made it easy for supporters to contribute to their cause. “All you have to do is shop at a participating business. We should all consciously choose where we spend our money,” says first Shop Fi A Cause partner Andrew Morris of Sam’s Caribbean Marketplace in West Hempstead, New York. Visit a Shop Fi A Cause business or their website and purchase their goods and services to support Farm Up Jamaica efforts! For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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