The Barbados Consumer Research Organisation, Inc. (BARCRO) wishes, for its primary object, the acknowledging and maintaining of the status of the consumers of this country. Generally, we wish to improve the economic, educational, social and cultural conditions under which they live.
Consumers are regarded by the informed, and those who bother to research the subject, as people who have supplemented and are adding greatly to the assets and resources of Barbados.
In order to continue progress, through national interaction, there needs to be a connecting link between all consumers that can only be obtained through determined association.
In many ways, membership in a body such as ours is beneficial. Principles of independence and self-reliance are, therefore, inculcated. We are taught the prudence of self-denial today, in order that we may secure to others, and ourselves, greater advantages tomorrow.
Joint effort for the benefit of all is nothing new: At school, our teachers thought it necessary to belong to unions, which articulated their advancement and security of employment. Our church leaders saw and see nothing wrong in belonging to their pious groups. General and civil workers demand the right to belong to their unions.
Business people, including manufacturers, see the need to belong to several bodies who negotiate on their behalf. The professions, secure as they are, still see the need for the individuals to belong to their professional associations. Even the politicians are members of bodies that may manipulate their interest. It gets even more involved, for Governments, on behalf of the countries they represent, belong to other world orders to advance the cause of nationhood.
In this society, unlike the developed societies, the only important group of people not properly represented, by any interest group, is the consumers. Not anymore, consumers will have the Barbados Consumer Research Organisation, Inc. (BARCRO) that will look after their interests as no individual can.
There is a tendency for some people to rely too heavily on Government’s intervention in almost every aspect of their lives. Government’s role should be to put the necessary legal framework in place so that others, with the help of any co-operative involvement, may help themselves.
Value For Money is what the marketing men will suggest is the result of shopping at their businesses. Yet, no thinking appears to go into the wishes and rights of the consumer.
Vocal, but dignified objection together with a Foot movement, through the doors with one’s Moneys secure in one’s pocket.
This is the real power of the consumer that could be exercised when those undiscerning notices suggest that after buying the faulty or inferior goods or services no refund of moneys is forthcoming. So you complain and may get some satisfaction. Alas, one voice in the wilderness is never loud enough to be effective. That is why we must unite for strength.
It is generally accepted that Barbados boasts a high literacy rate. Yet, we put up with too much foolishness to justify the claim of our education. We are far too apathetic and shrug our shoulders too readily when people, credited with far less intellect than ourselves, continue to laugh at us all the way to their bank.
The provision of funds, available for supporting worthwhile causes such as: sickness, disability, family distress, and the alleviation of poverty must appeal to most people. It must strengthen those who, because of their own foresight or self-denial, are able to help others less fortunate than themselves. This must also contribute to their social comfort and intellectual advancement.
The organisation has been planned that it may be possible, thereby, to advance and protect the consumers’ interests, more effectually, than hitherto. Everyone will appreciate the advantages of association; our aim should be the value of possessing full membership.
I welcome and applaud your efforts to join with other consumers, like you and me, to defeat the bad practices that still prevail among some uncaring businesses and public operators. Congratulations! Let us, go forward together, in unity.
H. Malcolm Gibbs-Taitt