LAUNCH OF CONSUMER ORGANIZATION IN GRENADA SEEN AS POSITIVE STEP
St. George, March 25th 2011 -- Grenada now has an organization committed to promoting and protecting the interests of consumers. The official launching ceremony was held at the Grenada National Stadium in St. George’s on Thursday 24th March 2011.
The Grenadian Organization for Consumer Affairs (GOCA) is a
non-governmental organization responsible for consumer rights and
advocacy, and is committed to promoting and protecting consumers’
interests,” according to interim Vice President, Mr. Milton Coy.
In what can be described as an impressive ceremony, the president of the
Caribbean Consumer Council (CCC), Mrs. Dolsie Allen hailed the
formation of the organization as, “a positive and welcomed contribution
for the development of consumerism in the Caribbean.” Mrs. Allen, who
heads the Jamaica Consumer Council, noted that GOCA is, “timely for
Grenada and the region; given the many challenges being experienced by
Mrs. Allen gave the charge to the executive to be consistent and
focused, noting that at times it may be rough and challenging; but, as
volunteers, they should see their contribution as priceless, rather than
CARICOM’s representative at the ceremony, Mrs. Anieta Lewis, who is
responsible for consumer affairs and labour within the context of the
CARICOM’s Single Market and Economy (CSME) also commended the initiative
by the Grenada Human Rights Organization Inc (GHRO Inc). She
congratulated them on providing consumers in Grenada with a voice, and
called on the executive to build on this opportunity to develop a
vibrant and effective consumer organization.
Mrs. Lewis said that CARICOM is committed to strengthening the
organizational capacity of consumer non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) in the region, and looks forward to GOCA’s growth and development
to provide effective services to the people of Grenada.
Mrs. Lewis also said that the GOCA should ensure that consumers not only
be informed about their rights, but of their responsibilities as well.
She promised that CARICOM will continue to support the organization to
achieve its objectives which, among other things include, the promotion
of “best practices” in consumerism and to encourage “compliance” by the
The Grenada government has also pledged support for the organization.
Mr. Curlan Gilchrist, a consultant attached to the Ministry of Finance,
noted that the formation of this NGO would strengthen consumer
protection on the island. Mr. Gilchrist said that government is
currently in the process of developing a policy for consumer protection.
He sees a pivotal role for the organization in educating the public
about the rights and responsibilities of the consumer.
Mr. Gilchrist, who also serves as an advisor to GOCA, noted that they
could play a leading role for public consultation on the CARICOM Drafted
Model Bill on consumer protection, scheduled to begin later in the
An interim executive of six members was presented. The executive
included – Interim president, Mrs. Lauret Clarkson, Interim Vice
President, Milton Coy, General Secretary, Mrs. Kenia Charles,
Consultants Mr. Jude Bernard and Mrs. Jenny Theodore, and Mr. Curlan
Gilchrist, as advisor to the organization.
Mr. Coy, who is also the president of the GHRO Inc and serves as GOCA’s
interim vice president, said the organization will be guided by the
principles of the right to satisfaction of basic needs, the right to
safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be
heard, the right to redress, the right to consumer education and the
right to a healthy environment.
As a demonstration for support to GOCA, Mrs. Allen -- in her capacity as
president of CCC, announced that the organization will be given one
year’s free membership in CCC.
The launching ceremony of GOCA was sponsored by CARICOM. Membership in the GOCA is open to all Grenadians.