From Ben Bennett, head of Business and Enterprise Education.
I WAS interested to read your article urging Islanders to buy local food and services in Saturday’s JEP.
Mr Bryans and Senator Ozouf are articulate champions of a cause that is very close to my heart, and one which we at Jersey College for Girls have been encouraging our students to think about in the last few years.
We have supported many green initiatives over the years but lately have been focused on the issue of food miles, in combination with educating our students about the important role local businesses play in our Island economy.
To this end, as part of an enterprise learning initiative, one hundred students in Year 9 have formed partnerships with members of the Genuine Jersey Association to learn about their businesses and the particular challenges they face.
Twenty student teams have visited their partners’ farms, shops, workshops and factories to see local food and craft items being produced and to learn about the trials facing small local enterprises. Unsurprisingly, the introduction of GST was something of a recurrent theme.
The students have had to negotiate terms to buy stock from their partners and will be competing to sell their local produce at a Food and Craft Fair at the school on Saturday 14 June. They have had to write business plans in order to borrow their share of the seed capital for this venture which has kindly been underwritten by the Enterprise and Business Development department of the States.
Advice on how to prepare a business plan was given by a team from HSBC bank, who have also sponsored prizes for the best business plan, the most profit made, and the best kept set of accounts.
The passion for their produce that our Genuine Jersey partners have displayed, and the enthusiasm of our students in really reconnecting with local food and craft producers, certainly augurs well for Mr Bryan’s campaign.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite Senator Ozouf and Mr Bryans to the fair on Saturday, where they can be certain that all the produce on sale will have travelled no further than from deepest St Ouen.
If Mr Bryan was prepared to supply a load of his ‘Think Twice, Buy Local’ bags I feel certain that Year 9 would be more than happy to help him spread the message.