The Chief Executive of Genuine Jersey, John Garton, said Taste the Passion was designed to encourage consumers to buy local and in doing so, support Island producers and the economy at a time when the home-grown produce was at it very best and most abundant.
‘Whether it is shellfish, dairy products, eggs, vegetables or fruit, come August and September there is the most fantastic choice of local produce available and in peak condition. Taste the Passion is a concerted effort by the States, Genuine Jersey, producers and retailers to ensure that the Island’s produce, some of the best in the world, is easily identifiable,’ he said.
The campaign is being promoted by media advertising, posters and flyers which will feature the faces of those who catch, grow and produce the seasonal produce. As well as bearing the Genuine Jersey mark, the featured produce will also carry the campaign brand. Special events, such as a beach sculpture in the sands of St Brelade’s Bay, are also being staged.
The idea for Taste the Passion came from Rod Bryans, who also dreamed up last year’s Think Twice Buy Local campaign, and was inspired by the passion local producers put into their businesses. By engaging and educating the community, the campaign hopes to raise local awareness of the Genuine Jersey brand and to encourage consumers to make an informed choice. It is funded by a combination of money from the States Fiscal Stimulus Fund to support local businesses in tough economic times and also from the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society and participating producers. The campaign kicks off this week with the promotion of eggs and next week the focus widens to include the members of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association who fish for crab, lobsters and scallops.
The Chairman of the Fishermen’s Association, Don Thompson, said: ‘Fishing is not just a job, it is a way of life – and a dangerous one - pursued by those with pride and a passion for their trade. From the sea around Jersey, our fishermen annually land around 170 tonnes of lobster, 350 tonnes of scallops and 650 tonnes of brown and spider crab, all prime quality and yet, the vast majority of which is exported. Taste the Passion is about supporting local fishermen, helping the Island’s economy and above all enjoying the taste of Jersey's fantastic shellfish,’ he said.
The Genuine Jersey egg producers participating are St Lawrence Growers (Steve Carter); Happy Hens (Chris Le Masurier); and Hamptonne Farm Hens (Jon Emmanual). In September the focus will turn to the Genuine Jersey’s organic growers as part of the Soil Association’s established nationwide event, Organic Fortnight. More specific aspects of the campaign – timed to coincide with local seasonality - will be forthcoming over the coming months.
Genuine Jersey produce is available in supermarkets, from farm shops and roadside stalls, the town markets and those held at St Aubin and in Weighbridge Place, through weekly ‘box’ deliveries and a variety of outlets Islandwide. It is distinguished by the distinctive Genuine Jersey mark – the guarantee of local provenance - which is recognised as a byword for the best the Island has to offer. To carry the mark, goods have to be reared, grown or caught in Jersey or created by accredited Islanders and local businesses who qualify to be members of the Genuine Jersey Products Association. There are currently 83 members and membership is growing.
The Minister for Economic Development, Alan Maclean said: ‘The ethos of Taste the Passion is exactly the same as that behind the Think Twice Buy Local campaign. By raising awareness of the abundance of top quality produce available on their doorsteps, we hope consumers and retailers will want to support local producers. We also hope that they will give serious consideration to where the money they spend is going and the impact their choices have on the local economy. Buying local not only keeps the local pound in circulation, it is also benefits the environment by reducing imports and consequently the Island’s food miles and carbon footprint.’