KINGSTON, JAMAICA, September 28 – Buccaneer Beach, off the Palisadoes Road, received a well-needed clean-up from GraceKennedy Limited as the Group’s contribution to International Coastal Clean-up Day on September 19.
For the second year in a row, the GraceKennedy Foundation has co-ordinated the GraceKennedy Group’s participation in the coastal clean-up. As part of its mandate, the Foundation raises awareness of environmental issues affecting Jamaica. The Foundation also coordinates recycling initiatives across the GraceKennedy Group.
“This year we selected Buccaneer’s Beach, which is that stretch of waterfront of the Palisadoes that extends along the property occupied by the Caribbean Maritime Institute,” said Executive Director of the GraceKennedy Foundation, Caroline Mahfood, who has oversight for the project. Mrs. Mahfood pointed out that “The area gets a lot of waste washed to its shores and so the Foundation coordinated a team of staff members from across the Group to participate in the clean-up exercise.”
The team comprised over 60 GraceKennedy employees and their children. According to Crystal-Gayle Johnson, Project Officer at the Foundation, “GraceKennedy team members were very enthusiastic about coming out to support the clean-up. While we are proud of what we accomplished, we were really alarmed at how much garbage we collected in just two hours. Over 20,000 plastic bottles were collected along with discarded shoes, tyres, medication, and other household waste. It was clear that people are still not disposing of their garbage properly. A lot of garbage ends up into the Kingston Harbour and in the process severely damages our fragile ecosystem.”
The GraceKennedy Foundation has supported environmental issues for over 20 years, funding the James Moss-Solomon Snr Chair in Environmental Management at the UWI, and supporting a number of environmental programmes including the 2015 lecture entitled “Why Climate Demands Change” by Prof. Michael Taylor, as well as the highly successful Youth Climate Change Conference. “Protecting and preserving our environment comes through behavioural change and efforts like those done at the beach clean-up help to foster lasting change for its participants,” said Mrs. Mahfood.
The GraceKennedy Foundation actively promotes well-being, primarily by supporting educational and environmental programmes and processes. It was established as a corporate-endowed foundation in 1982 to mark the 60th anniversary of GraceKennedy Limited.