Consumer body launches drive

Barbados’ newest consumer body, Consumer Trade and Research Association, has launched two new initiatives.

Pricing Patterns is an initiative aimed at helping alleviate the dreaded term price gouging, while Project SPEND is a reinvention of the “meeting turn” and this will be geared towards young consumers.

The organisation was formed in 2010 and the objective for the projects was to promote good saving practices among people especially among young people.

Speaking at the launch this morning at the Ministry of Commerce on Reef Road, president of the association, Valerie Grannum, said Project SPEND was brought to the fore because of their interaction with young people.

The programme, she said, seeks to target young home-owners and first time builders to a foundational platform through saving.

“This initiative would [enable] all qualified, eligible members or participants to own valuable assets without eroding or forfeiting the opportunity to build foundational savings bases,” she explained.

“Participants will contribute towards a meeting type save-to-purchase plan. Persons would need to pay into the meeting for at least three months before being able to qualify or apply for the purchase plan; after which they will be ratified by Committee of Financing and Purchasing and approved accordingly.

“This approval means that CTRA’s approved body would purchase the item and pass it onto the member. The member would then commence payment on a weekly, bimonthly or monthly basis until final payment; until such time the items remain the property or part property of the CTRA. The number of items to be bought monthly will be determined by the finance and purchasing committee.”

The mission of CTRA is to help individual consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and to advance pro-consumer industry-wide change for the benefit off all, through research, advocacy an education.

Grannum said that the project was not ready for implementation because unlike the other programme it took more structural planning and logistics.

“It deals with money and we want to be very careful in whatever we do… We go over in detail and it is structured in a way that would bring no harm to the person entering it or the organisation,” she added. (KC)

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