This Act makes provision for the protection of cooperative associations, i.e. any society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, and any company incorporated under the Companies Act having as its principal object the cooperative marketing of any commodity grown or manufactured in Jamaica.The Act prohibits trade in produce of cooperative associations other than in accordance with a contract entered into with any cooperative association to deliver to or sell through such cooperative association or in accordance with its directions any commodity grown or manufactured in Jamaica and not expressed to be made so as to exclude the provisions of this Act ("Co-operative marketing Contract"). The Act also defines the relationship between a marketing contract and the land on which produce is grown.
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The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies.