Mandeville Weekly News

CONSUMER GROUPS URGED TO ENGAGE MORE IN EDUCATING PURCHASERS

Posted by SR (riley) on Nov 03 2016 at 1:24 AM
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Consumer groups are being urged to shift their traditional role of advocacy and engage more in education on the rights that purchasers of goods and services have. Making the call, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, said the organisations must refocus, as new markets, products and services through the Internet and other technologies create the potential for large gaps in consumer knowledge and understanding.

In a speech read at the annual general meeting of the National Consumers League (NCL) by Director General in the Ministry, Mr. Vivian Brown, on October 26, Minister Samuda said the ever increasing amount of marketing efforts directed at young children, means we have to start educating consumers, even at an earlier age.While emphasising that the groups need to embrace and change with the times, the Minister argued that it might be an appropriate time for the NCL to review its membership by looking at the inclusion of youth.

The Minister said that knowledgeable consumers will participate more effectively in the marketplace by making sound purchasing decisions, and assured that the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) will continue to work with the NCL to facilitate ethical behaviour between consumers and providers.  “Empowered consumer choices will have a positive impact on economic growth and informed consumers can contribute to furthering competition and innovation,” he said.

Meanwhile, newly elected President of the NCL, Ms. Mazie Miller, pledged to strengthen the bond with the CAC, embark on a membership drive, establish at least one other chapter of the group in rural Jamaica, and develop training programmes for consumers.

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