Genuine Jersey was launched in 2001 to promote the diversity and quality of local produce and products. Since then, it has attracted a loyal and enthusiastic membership, which now stands at over 180. While some members ensure the survival of Jersey’s heritage and traditions, others are at the forefront of introducing pioneering farming methods, new crops or exploring previously untapped international markets. Today the Genuine Jersey Mark is seen as a byword for the best the island has to offer and businesses large and small are proud to be associated with the distinctive red logo.
Membership is far more than way of increasing sales; it also says a lot about the priorities and energies of the producers and craftspeople who make up Genuine Jersey. Collectively they care about the island and its future and they realise that distinctiveness and attention to detail are a necessary buffer to cheap, mass produced goods and practises that are too often associated with exploitation and environmental damage.
For the past 15 years, Genuine Jersey’s message has been unflinching: that buying locally produced goods is good for the island, economically, culturally and environmentally. Its membership includes a large brewery and some major exporters but it has also helped to promote a thriving cottage industry of small companies and ‘hobbyists’ who are driven by passion as much as profit.
Their interests are as intriguing as they are diverse: from producers of sea salt and fudge to artists creating intricate Japanese ‘gyotaku’ prints.
There are many benefits to membership, not least the knowledge that a third of islanders say that seeing the Genuine Jersey mark would definitely make them more likely to buy the product*. Members can also attend a wide range of events and activities organised and/or coordinated by Genuine Jersey, they feature on its comprehensive website and various social media channels, they have public relations and marketing support and they can take advantage of discounted insurance premiums.
Members have to adhere to a set of criteria that guarantee that their produce has been reared, grown, caught or created in Jersey but not all businesses can meet the strict requirements, even if they support the association’s aims. With this in mind, Genuine Jersey has a group of loyal sponsors who provide either financial support or expertise. In return for their backing, sponsors are permitted to use the Genuine Jersey Sponsor mark and are
featured on the Genuine Jersey website. They also have the benefit of being associated with an association which is highly respected by locals and visitors alike.
Jersey’s community has never been more economically active or entrepreneurial and Genuine Jersey is a natural home for this growing pool of talent. Its membership includes poets, photographers, bakers, fishermen, artists and furniture-makers. It is a thriving marketplace of artisans and innovators who collectively value and support seasonality, local agriculture, provenance, the Jersey economy and the environment.
BECOMING A MEMBER
Would-be members should first reader the Genuine Jersey Charter to see if their business fits the criteria and they should then download and fill in an application form (both available at www.genuinejersey.com). After that, the process is on an individual basis and an officer from the association will visit each applicant to find out more about their business. Membership will ultimately be approved by Genuine Jersey’s Management Committee. There is an annual Membership fee, which begins at £137 for sole traders. Members also have to have a registered business name and be registered to work.
Annual subscriptions for Genuine Jersey sponsors are based on the number of full-time equivalent employees, starting at £250 a year for businesses employing up to five staff. Rather than pay a subscription, a sponsor can offer a service to the equivalent value to Genuine Jersey members through the Association.