Government to reduce taxes on ‘healthy juices’

The Dominica government has said it will reduce taxes on juices deemed healthy.

Minister for Trade Collin McIntyre says the initiative will apply on juices that are not produced in Dominica and is part of efforts to address the prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCD) here.

“Instead of importing all the time coloured water, sweetened water, we want to expose our kids to authentic, real pure 100 percent juices, where they can consume it and be healthy,” McIntyre pointed out.

Government will reduce tax on juices such as cranberry, apple and grape, which McIntyre said have been attracting high taxes as they are considered foreign.

The Ministry of Health here has described CNCDs as a threat to the island’s economy and delivery of health care.

At a national summit on CNCDs in 2007, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said a large percentage of government’s health budget is dedicated towards treating people suffering from CNCDs.

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51 Comments

  1. standards developer
    November 15, 2011

    Mr. Minister
    You should have consulted with your own Bureau of Standards to inform yourself as to what constitutes a JUICE, what constitutes a DRINK and what constitutes a BEVERAGE. You 100% sure as to what you talking about!!! Basic standards development class 101.

  2. policy advisor
    November 15, 2011

    Mr. Minister
    and while you at it you may want to consider 1. reducing or removing the import duty/sales taxes on bicycles and other EXERCISE equipment.2. support policies that promote physical activity e.g. incentives for bicycle/walk paths, smimming pools and recreation centres, 3. Consult with your Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) and inform yourself and your government of how Dominica can develop strategies and actions to prevent and control NCD’s in the nature isle. Tax break on imported “juice” > National Export Strategy

  3. unemployed fruiter
    November 15, 2011

    Mr.Minister
    From where and whom you geting your info. Well some of us know how to research!!!!! Read what is out there with regards to cranberry… FYI and then you go do some research on apple and grape prodution in the USA!!!! Like you never did your homework!!!

    Cranberry juice is the juice of the cranberry. Commercially, it is sold in either as a pure juice, which is quite tart, or, more commonly, as cranberry juice “cocktail” or “drink” , in blends with other juices, such as apple or grape, or mixed with water and corn syrup, sugar, or an artificial sweetener (such as aspartame or sucralose). These may also be blended with other juices or flavors. The term, when used on its own, almost always refers to a sweetened drink

    Although cranberry juice may help prevent growth of bacteria, its pH may be as acidic as 2.3–2.5, which is more acidic than most soft drinks, which could potentially dissolve tooth enamel over time.

  4. Nkrumah Kwame
    November 15, 2011

    Cranberry, apple and grapes are NOT PRODUCED IN DOMINICA. Instead of reducing the cost of these, why not encourage the production of fresh local juices? The proposed coffee factory will fail since there is no local coffee. However there is an abondance of local fruits that can be used since all they do is fall from the trees and rot. Dr. McIntyre you definitely got it WRONG and I sincerely hope you correct this; if not i will think that “you just playing smart with stupidness”.

    Bset regards.

  5. Good Lordy
    November 15, 2011

    Make sure all those juices for children are sugar free.

    Diabetes going to be a big thing here soon.

    Sugar is OK in small doses. Bad in big doses. In those foreign juices there is plenty of white sugar. Terrible stuff.

    • We the people
      November 15, 2011

      When you deal with diabetes, sugar is sugar, whether it comes from a fruit or a teaspoon. The fact is, fruits are a much better alternative. It fills you up faster and it contains much more fibre. Due to its bulk, you dont have to consume as much sugar per helping.

      I don’t drink soft drink (except in my rum), and I drink very little juice (even the ones that don’t contain added sugar). I give my kids very little juice because of the high sugar content of natural juice.

      Juice is not as healthy as some people make it out to be. It does contain some nutrients, but the high sugar content is a major downside.

  6. RESPECT DUE
    November 15, 2011

    Tax free for local juices would be a better idea. Locally made juices are more healthy and they willl help build the economy. So much imported juices that in Dominica. We are not sure whether they are pure or fake. Support Local Dr. MaC

  7. November 15, 2011

    I admire the useful facts you provide in your posts. I’ll bookmark your blog and also have my kids check up right here often. I am very certain they will discover lots of new things right here than anyone else!

  8. November 15, 2011

    Why is Dominica plagued with CDNC? My suggestion to the people on the Island is to go back to eating heart healthy local products from DOMINICA. The last time I visited I was appalled to see how Dominica was infested with fast food restaurants such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and all of those high sodium, and God knows what else poisons are in those foods. (Read the labels on some of those products to get an idea of how unhealthy those items are). I drive 40 miles one way to find a Caribbean store in America where I can purchase green bananas, sweet potatoes, and the like so I can avoid poisoning my AMERICAN family. Why would Dominicans who live on the Island make such unhealthy choices when it comes the their diet. SHAME ON THE GOVERNMENT for allowing all of those establishments to take up residence on the island in the name of development. I would much rather see someone selling lime juice and fish broth from a stall on the roadside. WAKE UP DOMINICANS AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER AND AVOID BEING PLAGUED BY WHAT THe SO CALLED DEVELOPED WORLD IS BEING PLAGUED WITH today because of those unhealthy food choices. Diabetes and Heart Disease.

  9. November 14, 2011

    I appreciate the fact that the prices of imported fruit juices are being reduced, but I believe that food on a whole in Dominica is too expensive.

  10. Justice and Truth
    November 14, 2011

    Good idea. Cranberry, apple and grape juices are excellent nutritious sources. However, read the labels. I do hope they are not doctored. If it were possible it is better to eat the fruits.

  11. SMH
    November 14, 2011

    Why Don’t you help the manufacters in Dominica Like Bello produce some nice organic juices. Then They could export… Try starting at home!!

  12. Concerned
    November 14, 2011

    This is no answer to CNCDs. People, eat the fresh fruits that we grow here and stay away from these unhealthy so called juices.

  13. only
    November 14, 2011

    Why don’t you just quit taxing food to begin with and open up the ports to free trade. Then you would see DA start to thrive.

  14. Anonymous
    November 14, 2011

    Thats a first everyone agree the minister proposal is nonsensical

  15. We the People
    November 14, 2011

    Mr. Minister, take a page from the US anti-dumping laws. That the tax money collected from foreign juices and use it to subsidize local producers. That way we kill two birds with one stone: create local employment while we produce juice for local and regional consumption.

    BTW, juices are marginally healthy. Most contain too much sugar and very little fibre. Wat he should stress is more vegetable and fruit consumption.

  16. sandw
    November 14, 2011

    I agree this is not a step forward for the economy of Dominica. Where I live, there are thousands of all kind of fruit laying rotting on the floor because the farmers have no transport, and the roads are bad.
    The kids in school are drinking Fruita and Busta.
    Instead of taking a drop in revenue from foreign drinks, I would rather the cash was spend on improving facilities for farmers.
    I love local fruit juice – why is it so hard to find any for sale???
    An island so blessed with space and fertile soil should not have to rely on the importation of fruit.

    • November 14, 2011

      Your comment is excellent and on point. I am perplexed at the idea that the emphasis is on imported goods rather than assisting and encouraging the local farmers to market the local produce which is far more healthy than these poisoned American products. I live in America and I would give anything, anyday to switch my cranberry and apple juice for real mangos, soursops, guavas, sugar cane, passionfruits, etc. I would not even juice them…just eat them from the field and drink a glass of local water.
      If something is not broken, why fix it with contaminated imports…which is exactly what those sugar and preservative filled products are.

  17. interesting
    November 14, 2011

    WHo is the head of a certain private sector body

    what is the interest in importing juices and lobbying govt to drop levy’s on IMPORTED JUICE for a certain company

    why is dominica more and more a plantation for a group of families taking turns at whip the native

    • Oh my
      November 15, 2011

      Yeah sounds like the Nasseifs have a new line in …. guess what?

      Cranberry, apple and grape fruit drinks.

  18. joaanne lavenierio
    November 14, 2011

    thats great

  19. forreal
    November 14, 2011

    but dominica is nature isle where does foreign juices fit in ,dominca used to produce the best juice i ever drank,that was domfruit juice,a resurgence of such product need to be encouraged,what happen to lets go local,the farming community need to be given all the assistance than can be given.

    • ah ha
      November 14, 2011

      You may be right buuuuuuuut…lets be real

      Like Dominicans would consider anything locally made as good… let’s be real… Half the people on here have never stopped off at JB’s juice near the Bayfront and supported him… Most of y’all here refrigerators are full with everything but a bottle of any Bello product…

      Just a bunch of talk…

      • Anonymous
        November 21, 2011

        HELLO!! I BUY JB’S JUICE ALL THE TIME.. PINEAPPLE AND MANGO WITH NO SUGAR.

        IT’S MADNESS THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS FOCUSING ON IMPORTING THAT 2% JUICE CRAP! THERE IS A BUSINESS THAT MAKES PURE ORANGE AND GRAPEFRUIT JUICE AND THIS IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!

        MR. MINISTER GIVE THEM INCENTIVES SO THEY CAN REDUCE THE PRICE – THAT MAKES MORE SENSE.

        I USED TO BUY THOSE BOX JUICES BUT AFTER LISTENING TO THE FARMERS ON BETWEEN YOU AND ME A FEW WEEKS AGO, I STOPPED. ONLY LOCAL JUICE FOR ME; NO SUGAR ADDED.

        I AM DOMINICAN!!!

  20. mouth of the south
    November 14, 2011

    expect a red ant to come and defend… honestly…. people isn’t it obvious that these people can’t lead… they are devoid of ideas… the solution is to subsidize and support our farmers… give restaurants benefits for making natural juices and food (no salt) for providing to the public at affordable prices… but guess what…. these guys have decided to informally subsidize the foriegn manufacturers…. stupes

  21. Sum Fing Not Wong
    November 14, 2011

    The Minister’s pronouncement is good. Let’s give him credit where it is due. Any effort to improve the quality of health is commendable. But the Minister’s effort is only half-met. I sincerely believe that he needs to do more to enable production of local juices to combat CNCDs.

    • Disappointed!!!
      November 14, 2011

      That’s like say drinking water will increase your lifespan but all I have is water from the drain!

    • Papa Dom
      November 14, 2011

      This has nothing to do with the health of Dominicans. The food outlet offering patrons a refill “with proof of purchase on the same day” is being facilitated to keep its pledge and be able to make more money.
      When will our people wake up and see that everything this gov’t does is mainly in the interest of their friends in high places and what the average man on the street gets is the crumbs which necessarily must fall from the tables of those persons.

  22. DA man
    November 14, 2011

    the only heathy juice is the one made from the frutes in DA all those inported juice is loaded with refined suger so the tax break need to go to the farmers

    • DA to D Bone
      November 15, 2011

      But the healthy juice that is made in DA uses the same refined sugar. We are not processing or manufacturing sugar in DA so we get it from the same source as the outside juice.
      So, we need to start planting more sugar cane and Beet, then, with Organic production, we can safely manufacture certified healthy products.

  23. Anonymous
    November 14, 2011

    why not increase the tax on foreign juice which will in turn force locals to find a solution which is the production,manufacturing and consumption of local juices

  24. November 14, 2011

    why can’t the Minister encourage Dominicans to go local. We have so much in the country that we can make healthy juices. We have Sour Sop, Pumsitier, Breafruit, Plantain, Grapefruit, oranges,Tangerines, cherry, gusava, mango, carrot, beet. pomagrante just to name a few. Why can’t we encourage Dominicans to go local. We try to encourage them to go local only during the independent season. We should do so year round. I live in New York and I make my own juice just to avoid all the so called juices that are just full of sugar and no substance. Support what is local and go local. Yet again the juice stands make the juice so sweet and sometimes all you taste is sugar and no juice flavor. How do we know it is the real juice we are drinking if it is imported when in Dominica you have the real thing right in your back yard. Mr. Minister call on Dominicans to support the local farmers and grow more friuts so we can have more local friut drinks instead of imported so called real juices. Just my two cents

  25. Jah know
    November 14, 2011

    hint hint to the gov’t, it would be much more beneficial if we produce our own juices and export to the world. We all will benefit. the farmers and factory workers(employment) and we get the nutrition we need. Quite frankly i’m tired of seeing ppl buying fruta when we can make our own juices both for local consumption and for export.

  26. tell me
    November 14, 2011

    nothing with water and it is flavored and from concentrate.it not 100%

  27. De W
    November 14, 2011

    its ridiculous to susidize on foreign juices , which are in most cases as bad as soft drinks, rather than help our country produce what cn be easilly be the best juice in the world. what about a processing plant as a first step in assisting farmers with their fruit production and sales.

    • Morchoroh
      November 14, 2011

      Boss i am in total agreement with you.Give the farmers incentives to grow and harvest more of their fruits and vegies.Any tax incentives should go towards individuals/ companies interested in establishing a small to medium size processing plant in Dominica.

  28. grandpa
    November 14, 2011

    These guys are truly lost and without a plan.we have fruits wasting every day and that the plan? I am lost for words. Isn’t that another death announcement of agriculture. We are already importing applesand grapes now we are going to further facilitate the importation of processed apple and grape juice.
    my God with tears I cry rescue us

  29. What!!!!
    November 14, 2011

    This is nonsense on stilts! If we can’t produce enough fresh fruit juices to satisfy local demand, let alone export, then we might as well put up the shutters and close the island down. If we can’t grow cranberry, apple and grape, let’s research and develop substitutes. Surely, we should be increasing the tariffs on imported fresh juices, not the other way around. What incentive is this to our farmers?

    • fred
      November 14, 2011

      If I remember clearly one lady from Thibaud and one man from Cockrane both grew apples in their yards. It always baffled me why the Ministry of Agrculture never capitalized in this an do some research with a view to growing apples on a large scale. AMAZING!!!!!! Please, somebody from the Dept of Agriculture enlighten me.

      • DA to D Bone
        November 14, 2011

        Apples and Grapes thrive better in tempered climates. What was the maximum yield from the Thibaud and cockrane trees?

  30. Way Out There
    November 14, 2011

    BIG FAIL!! Why not lower the local juice producers tax rate or the taxes on essential goods used to manufacture finished products like bottles, packages and labels.

  31. warma
    November 14, 2011

    McIntyre – this man is a doctor? There is no such thing as 100% pure juice – if the product has been converted into liquid form, you can bet there are preservatives in there to ensure a long shelf life. Not only that, chances are some form of sweetener has probably been added to it as well. The questions then are – are these preservatives and sweeteners natural or not and are they harmful. The only way you can get close to 100% pure fruit in a composition other than the actual fruit itself is in puree form and it would have to be frozen to preserve it. And if that’s how it is, you can’t really call that a juice – it’s a puree. Furthermore, not even all puree’s are 100% pure and free of preservatives and sweeteners either.

    Someone please educate this man, this doctor r”

    • Jef
      November 14, 2011

      The man is a Veterinarian.

    • Disappointed!!!
      November 14, 2011

      To help the good doctor following is the ingredients from an Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Juice

      Filtered Water
      Cane of Beet Sugar
      Apple Juice from Concentrate
      Cranberry Juice from Concentrate
      Raspberry Juice from Concentrate
      Grape Juice from Concentrate
      Carrot Juice from Concentrate
      Natural Flavors
      FUMARIC ACID
      SODIUM CITRATE
      CITRIC ACID
      ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C)
      CONTAINS 15% JUICE

      BEST BY DATE 09 MAR 2012

      So what exactly is this a healthier alternative too?

      Sounds like there is another part of the equation that the good doctor has neglected to mention, you know the part that helped him to make this ‘informed’ decision.

      • D A crying
        November 14, 2011

        You so right , to give you the answer , you need to ask who is the importer of the juice.it is unbelievable these guys could do such $$it , we had the best fruit drink in the carribean at one time Domfruit, with the abundance of fresh fruits in Dominica you mean to tell me these guys cannot do better than that than to put more money in the pockets of who have already , because they getting their perks then. COME ON MAN BE REAL!

    • DA to D Bone
      November 14, 2011

      Actually, there is a 100% juice available, but its shelf life is very low and low temperature is the only form of natural preservation and it does not contain any artificial preservation.
      Freshly squeeze juices ( no sugar, no H20) are available on sale in many countries, including the Nature Isle.These juices do contain pulp and many of the organic oils such as Terpinoids and other hydrocarbons ( which are very natural but can also be reconstructed back into juices to add flavor ……that is lost after pasteurization.

      Yes, most purees are very natural, but they too contain some sodium and potassium to increase shelf life and decrease Food Safety issues.

      The Minister is correct, but failed to effectively sell the message in order that the public better understands him.

      WTO regulations prevents us from stopping these juices and drinks into out markets, but if we increase the tax of the harmful ones and allow the more healthier ones that contains less of these artificial sugars and preservatives (which are associated to CNDCs and cancers), maybe we can prevent some of these diseases.

      Yes, we do need local investment into manufacturing of our local juices, but again, how will we increase our product shelf life while maintaining our impeccable flavor profile without these preservatives. We can produce local natural juices, but that only has a one day shelf life and we would fail to export our items.

      SO, we can kick the can up or down the road, but we are stuck with the real issue of CNDCs, and this is a step in the right direction to decrease the amount of these unhealthy, foreign products into our markets.

  32. lightbulb
    November 14, 2011

    nonsense. so rather than reduce the cost of inputs for the production of juices local, the trade ministry has a brilliant idea, of subsidizing foreign imports at the expensive of the local farmer and manufacturer…

    • Suprem
      November 14, 2011

      ya what nonsense is that GROW our things locally stop importing and start exporting MORE

    • warma
      November 14, 2011

      I am with you on this – that’s another reason why this country seems so devoid of ideas. This man has been placed in a position where his primary duty is to stimulate the economy of Dominica, to be an innovator, to think of things that could be done in Dominica for the benefit of Dominicans, and this is what he comes up with…he tells the Dominican farmer “guess what – instead of me and my ministry coming up with ideas as to how you can better utilize your land, to increase your income, to help feed your family and our country, to help generate exports of our products, to bring into Dominica badly needed foreign exchange…we have decided to screw you and subsidize imports so instead of you getting the income and Dominica keeping its money within Dominica to generate wealth and employment, we would much rather you go out and spend the little money you have on these foreign products and send all that money to another country, and if in the long run you become unable to feed your family and send your kids to college, OH WELL – MA BAD – OOPS…brilliant, right”?

      This “doctor” needs to be fired – that is a serious dereliction of duty.

    • possie
      November 14, 2011

      u understand?

    • Sout Man
      November 15, 2011

      I totally agree with you, Warma and the others. To even think that this guy is Minister for Employment, Trade and Industry is shocking!! Is he minister for the import trade and export of capital and flight of employment?

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