Beware Barbados, beware! There is a group of people with Asian and North African connections who have been trying for the last 25 to 30 years to get hold of rights to use the brand West Indian Sea Island Cotton and its logo.
They have tried planting cotton on a large scale in Belize and Jamaica in order to qualify as West Indian Sea Island Cotton producers so as to be able to use the trade mark.
They have even gone so far as to ship containers from Colorado with cotton grown there and keep them at the Bridgetown Harbour waiting for the cotton harvest to finish so that all the containers would have a Barbados origin and claims could be made that the product emanating from the shipment was sea island cotton.
A suspicious customs officer smelt a rat and called me when I was doing Brasstacks and I raised the question. Barbados really does not understand the importance of sea island cotton and the world-wide market demands for this high quality natural fabric.
Some politicians and their cronies throughout the years have been willing to turn a blind eye and sell out the island. I hope that there is still some integrity existing somewhere and that this last frontier of our unique heritage is not handed over to international pedlars like we did with rum and many of our unique products across the Caribbean.
We seem to forget that there is a compatibility in growing sugar and alternating with cotton. What one takes out of the soil the other puts back.
It seems the more educated we become, the less we use our common sense. We seem to prefer cutting off our broad noses to spite our faces. Next
time or if the opportunity arises and you visit New York or Miami, check out the museums and the sculptures from Egypt and you will notice that all of the noses are broken off to try and conceal their true origins.
Beware! Be vigilant!
— Elombe Mottley