Adrian Loveridge Column – Public Officials Must Lead by Example

Perhaps there has never been such an important time in our history to support local small businesses, whether in tourism or any other sector. And regardless of those in the private or public sector, we all have a responsibility, whenever practical and feasible, to follow this objective.

That is why I was so surprised, when yet again, while watching a recent Government convened media conference, which included politicians and public servants at the highest level, together with senior business leaders in the tourism sector, sitting at a head table with bottles of imported Florida water placed in front of them. Especially when you consider, even after a cursory search, we found more than three companies producing local water alternatives.
In our personal experience, at least one of them offered highly competitive prices when comparing with imported options.

It seems incomprehensible that an individual or department within the administration has not been charged with the responsibility of sourcing, negotiating and purchasing for Government, as many locally produced products as possible, providing of course, that they not overly costly to the taxpayer?

Our policymakers must surely understand that economic recovery will largely rest on our many small businesses survival and hopefully future growth? Not just in terms of generating employment, but partially relieving the liability of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), while at the same time creating additional overall tax contributions for Government coffers, reducing foreign imports and FX currency requirements.

Assuming that Government can be persuaded to support local small businesses in a greater degree, perhaps it is also time to resurrect some version of the Buy Bajan promotion that took place years ago, targeted towards the general buying public?

Surely, this is the best way to ensure that as many of our small businesses survive during the current exceptional circumstances and allowing them to slowly re-build for the future?

Of course it would take all those involved in the distribution and point of sale process with the support of financial institutions, media houses offering creative marketing solutions and hopefully the applicable Government Ministry and trade associations playing their part.

And if we need exceptional examples to follow and glean ideas from, there are many impressive models out there. Particularly inspiring is a website Discover Delicious (https://discoverdelicious.wales) whose mission statement boasts ‘Shop delicious, Welsh food, drink and foodie experiences from independent producers and explore the largest collection of Welsh food and drink online – Stay Safe – Shop Local – Support Small’.

13 comments

  • peterlawrencethompson

    Ahh yes Adrian, we are completely on the same page this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Having foreign bottle water on the table confirmed the lack of commitment by decision makers to walking a different path.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Florida water! Oh dear me! Didn’t know we had that here!

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  • (Quote):
    That is why I was so surprised, when yet again, while watching a recent Government convened media conference, which included politicians and public servants at the highest level, together with senior business leaders in the tourism sector, sitting at a head table with bottles of imported Florida water placed in front of them. Especially when you consider, even after a cursory search, we found more than three companies producing local water alternatives. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Dear Mr. Blogmaster, is Adrian also ‘throwing shade’ on the Bajan policy movers and shakers?

    Isn’t it true that what Adrian is highlighting, currently, has been the bane of the miller for years?

    How can a country- which does not draw its ‘drinking’ water from a sewerage system- borrow so much money from the IMF to import stale pipe water in plastic bottles?

    What’s so dangerously wrong with the local water even if sourced from Bath or Pot House or Spring Vale or even Spring Garden?

    But then again, what do you expect from a country which delights in importing coconut water and tamarinds from South East Asian countries where the name Barbados conjures up nothing else but a small parish in the Land where Bob Marley was born.

    These Bajan people in leadership positions are simply not ready to meet the monumental challenges which both Covid and the IMF have strewn in their footpath to survival.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Miller

    You seem to have a problem with constructive criticism compared to a cabal whose objective every single day is to highlight the negative that unravels in Barbados.

    Like

  • Well at least the water is not coming from Flint, Michigan!

    Will Adrian’s message resonate with our leaders? I doubt it.

    Like

  • “which included politicians and public servants at the highest level, together with senior business leaders in the tourism sector, sitting at a head table with bottles of imported Florida water placed in front of them.”

    Who purchased the bottled water ? Who placed the water in front of those attending the ” head table ” ?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Home / Local News / BARJAM says no to interference

    HHMMM

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    BARJAM says no to interference – by Kobie Broomes November 30, 2020
    The Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) has issued a stern warning to Prime Minister Mia Mottley and other Government officials not to try to dictate news coverage.

    BARJAM President Emmanuel Joseph cautioned Mottley about her recent suggestions that the media should not carry the dissenting voice of the opposition.

    He made the comments while addressing the awards ceremony for media workers on Sunday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
    Joseph said, “It is a dangerous, unwise and counter-productive road to take in this 21st century. The recent notion by our Prime Minister that the news media should shut out the voice of Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn for whatever reason (once he is not outside of the law) goes against the highest law in the land – the Constitution.”

    In a stern tone, Joseph said, “BARJAM has no confidence in any suggestion that would like to take us back to the dark days when dissent against the establishment or ruling classes was tantamount to a crime and was met with the most vicious push back that at times ended in death for the dissenter.”

    The veteran journalist underscored that the Constitution not only guarantees freedom of speech but also provides for the Office of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, hence dissent, alternate voice, opinions, positions are sanctioned by the Constitution.

    “The media cannot, therefore, be part of any suggestion by the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, trade union leaders, business leaders, church leaders, civil society leaders or even the ordinary man in the street to usurp its role as the eyes, the ears and the voice of the people. For the media to embark on a censorship drive to facilitate some voices and silence others – while it may be politically or economically expedient for some – it stinks,” he stressed.

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  • There is talk resurfacing about creating a nudist space/colony in Barbados to diversify the tourism product.

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

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  • The integrity of the press is based on journalists keeping a safe distance from the centres of power, that includes rejecting awards and volunteering to take part in party political events.
    There is an old saying: when the journalist becomes the story, then there is a problem. Journalists should be seen, but not heard.

    Like

  • Bookings on the increase
    By Colville Mounsey colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    The bookings are back!
    And it should lead to a recovery for Barbados’ most important winter tourist season, especially since a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus will soon be available in the United Kingdom (UK).
    With Barbados’ main tourism source market ending its one-month lockdown on Wednesday, hotels are reporting an uptick in forward bookings for the remainder of the season.
    Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), Senator Rudy Grant, told the Saturday Sun that, as anticipated, there has been a pent-up appetite for travel.
    He said that as long as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic maintained their schedules for the season, hotels would see a significant rise in occupancy by January, possibly salvaging what was shaping up to be a rather dismal winter season.
    “I have had some indications from hotels that they are seeing increased bookings coming out of the United Kingdom. This is not surprising because we would have referenced before the fact that there is indeed a pent-up demand and the expectation was that we would see an increase in the numbers that are coming. I believe that if both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic adhered to the schedule that they would have communicated previously, we will see some increase in the airlift capacity coming out of the UK,” said Grant.
    The CEO said that Barbados is currently the No. 1 selling destination in the region, largely due to the safety record which the country has maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Based on the discussions we have had with our operator partners, Barbados continues to be the No. 1 selling destination in the region and there is significant demand for Barbados as a destination. So we are seeing this already reflected in the hotels that we would have had interactions with since the UK lockdown ended,” he said.
    Last month the tourism sector, which has been flattened by the global health crisis, was dealt yet another deleterious blow when the UK announced a one-month lockdown in an effort to mitigate the second wave of the coronavirus which had tightened its grip on Europe and North America. Many pundits considered this to be the death knell of the 2020 to 2021 winter tourism season.
    However, Grant said that with the positives already shining through since the reopening of the UK, there was a good chance things could turn around.
    “It is difficult to say under these unique circumstances what level of occupancy we may eventually be looking at. I have to communicate with the members a bit more because all have not reported what their forward bookings are. What I can say is that a number of hotels have reported and the trend is showing an increase for this month and into the winter months of next year,” he said.
    He also pointed out that the UK’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, making it the first Western nation to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, was good news for the sustainability of that important source market in the long term.
    “It is not something that is going to take immediate effect, it is not something that is going to happen tomorrow in terms of the numbers of vaccinations, but it is certainly a positive situation. It is certainly going to give a greater level of comfort to those who are travelling.

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  • LIAT awaits clearance from Barbados, St Vincent
    ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua-based regional airline LIAT said it has been forced to suspend services to two of its previously announced destinations while it awaits the approval from the relevant authorities in Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines, two former shareholder governments of the financially-strapped airline.
    LIAT, which is now under administration, had late last month announced the resumption of flights five days a week to seven destinations across its network.
    The seven destinations are Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Vincent and LIAT said that the limited schedule of flights will return connectivity to these destinations which were impacted by the airline’s suspension of commercial services in March due to financial problems and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that forced many Caribbean countries to shut down their borders.
    LIAT said prior to its suspension of services, it had been operating to Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines “on valid flight approvals which have not expired,” adding “ LIAT operated a scheduled flight to Barbados on Monday, November 30.
    However, the airline has been informed by these territories that new arrangements must be made for the airline to operate into Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The airline has therefore made the decision to temporarily suspend services to these destinations while these new arrangements are being finalized,” LIAT said in its latest statement.
    LIAT said that it expects to continue the addition of other destinations to which it will operate a limited schedule of flights, adding it has completed the training requirements and made all necessary arrangements to receive the approval for flights to these destinations. (CMC)

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  • CDB head: Corruption a big problem
    THE CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (CDB) says corruption is a major obstacle to its mission to end poverty in the region.
    Dr Warren Smith, president of the Barbadosbased financial institution, yesterday called the issue “a major inhibitor and a perennial source of concern”. He urged decision-makers, administrators, service providers and citizens to unite against the scourge.
    The CDB boss was speaking as his organisation and the World Bank hosted the inaugural Caribbean Conference On Corruption, Compliance And Cybercrime. It was held virtually as part of activities to mark the CDB’s 50th anniversary.
    “This age-old problem has a remarkable capacity for reinvention. Corruption is constantly evolving and confusing us in its ongoing quest to circumvent systems and processes designed to nullify it,” Smith said.
    “CDB, like other international financing institutions, has been relying on creativity and ingenuity to stay ahead of the game and wipe out corruption. Today’s conference is just one of the strategies we deploy in that incessant battle.”
    He said the bank hoped that the two-day conference would achieve three objectives, the first which was “to engender increased understanding of the corrosive impact that corruption has on the economic and social development of emerging economies like those in our region.
    “Second, we want to strengthen the response to corruption by enrolling institutions, individuals and groups which may not typically be at the forefront of anti-corruption initiatives, but can play a critical role in the resolution,” he said.
    “And third, we want to stimulate fresh ideas, new thinking and innovative approaches to combatting this threat to our common future.”
    Smith said achieving these goals required the CDB ensuring “that its loan and grant resources are used for the intended purposes and reach the intended beneficiaries”.
    “Unfortunately, this will not be sustainable if decisionmakers, administrators, service providers and indeed the wider citizenry are not resolute in their commitment to uphold good governance in local, national and regional institutions. Corruption matters, even when it is not in our peripheral vision,” he noted. James H. Anderson, lead governance specialist at the World Bank Group, told a panel discussion on Drivers Of Corruption In The Caribbean that that institution recently launched an anti-corruption initiative.
    He said the effort to reduce corruption needed to be allencompassing, including focusing on the facilitators, not just the beneficiaries.
    “This is recognising that corruption is often not simply the act of a lone bad official, but it’s often facilitated by professions, by accountants, by banks, by lawyers, and often in rich countries, often in financial centres in other countries. And we need to have more of a dialogue about how to reduce the ability to play that role of facilitator,” he said.
    “We are really trying to renew or reinvigorate our approach to helping countries control corruption. It’s not a new problem, and it won’t completely go away, but we do think it is possible to make progress and that’s what we are trying to do.” (SC)

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