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‘Move me & I’ll sell in the middle of the road!’ – prominent farmer

-Local farmers against imported goods being sold at VI Market – while Trade Department moves to re-launch local Market in Road Town
The signage at the Road Town Market specifically indicates 'Local Products' yet local producers are convinced that the majority of the vendors import their foods for sale. Photo: VINO
The four tents sponsored by the office of the Premier for the new look market place. Photo: VINO
The four tents sponsored by the office of the Premier for the new look market place. Photo: VINO
Enclosed is the section of the market where permanent stalls are erected for local vendors. Photo: VINO
Enclosed is the section of the market where permanent stalls are erected for local vendors. Photo: VINO
According to Mrs Karia J. Christopher there may be a few vendors under special circumstances that will remain in the Town at certain locations. Photo: VINO
According to Mrs Karia J. Christopher there may be a few vendors under special circumstances that will remain in the Town at certain locations. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, is all ready to reopen the Road Town Market Square but this comes with a number of concerns by seasoned local farmers.

“I don’t want anything to do with there. The thing is that they are calling it the ‘local’, you hear the word? Local! I know for a fact that a lot of those vendors selling out there are importing food from St Vincent and other islands and that’s not local, what we grow here is local. Our produce must have a proper representation and that’s not the case at that market so I want nothing to do with that. If they crazy enough to come move me from where I am selling my thing I am going to sell in the middle of the road,” said a prominent local farmer.

Another farmer said that being amongst the persons who sell the imported produce is casting a bad shadow over the locally produced food. “What you have happening is that imported food spoils very fast and I am tired of hearing customers telling me that the stuff they buy spoiling fast and guess what they saying? Them local food, they not saying the imported food they saying them locals and that is casting a bad spell on our stuff because it’s the imported things they purchasing and being disappointed. So like Ms Fahie I am not going to be in the mix. I’ll continue as I am doing to sell my things separately so people could identify with the true BVI grown food which is fresh, tasty and long lasting. That’s my stand.”

'We want to clean up market area'- Christopher

Speaking with this news site yesterday morning, March 11, 2015 Director of Trade and Consumers’ Affairs Ms Karia J. Christopher said they have taken a number of initiatives into consideration and will be embarking on them to have the city be one that is more friendly to the eye and at the same time promote a more organised situation around the town.

“It is important to have the city reflecting a place that is serious about Local, Regional and International Investments and in that regards we have instilled some rules and some letters went out instigating some rules and regulations which most of the businesses in the common area or in sense we have asked persons not to sell anything, clothing, shoes, outside of the stores that they would have been given to sell for. Once you have a Trade License it is very specific in terms of where you should sell. So we sent letters to persons who have these infractions, asking them or actually telling them that they cannot now sell any clothes outside of their stores or any shoes outside of their stores. On that same trend, we want to clean up the market area which has been a little bit of an eye sore to say the least.”

In a recent story carried by this news site, several local farmers had complained of not having a proper place, or any place in fact, to sell their produce since they had complained that they were removed from the market square by the City Department.

Vendors 'pushed back'

But according to Mrs Christopher, “I'm telling you it was us, the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs. The Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs went door to door to the vendors that were on the side walk and asked and we pushed them back from being on the perimeter of the side walk because of course it was a hazard to the traffic and congestion and really physically it was not something that was pleasant to see. I would add here that we had asked the City Manager to accompany us in the regard in which she did so I don’t want to say that she didn't have any part in it. She accompanied us in this and we managed to push them back.”

She further explained, “But that is not enough to be able to say that area is clean so what the Department of Trade has done is that they are undertaking a revitalisation of the market square and we spent some amount of funds repainting it and we have just begun to have it almost completed. And so on Friday we are going to have a re-launching of the market, officially reopening the market in the way that we want it to look and so we purchased tents for the vendors.”

According to Mrs Christopher, only the approved vendors who were there before are allowed to get tents based on where they place them as they have made the market itself physically more pleasing.

“We've installed stands, we've repainted it, we've finished it and we're inviting the other vendors on the street, once they've been invited, now to be permanently located in the market.”

See links to related stories:

39 Responses to “‘Move me & I’ll sell in the middle of the road!’ – prominent farmer”

  • yellow (12/03/2015, 10:06) Like (11) Dislike (22) Reply
    Ndp stricks again always pushing out the lil people
    • Kingfish (12/03/2015, 10:36) Like (25) Dislike (22) Reply
      Move her and the others that are selling the street and if she does what she says she will do, I am sure the jail will find a space for her.
  • > (12/03/2015, 10:36) Like (9) Dislike (8) Reply
    das when you let foreigners get away with all sort of ills here in the VI. A lot of other things are out of hand.
  • ooooo (12/03/2015, 10:44) Like (3) Dislike (26) Reply
    the ndp had OJ giving out trade licenses left right and center... now they cant deal with the consequences
  • please (12/03/2015, 10:44) Like (49) Dislike (0) Reply

    Please act educated and sensible!! Lead by example. You want to be respected in your trade, then respect the people who need to keep our streets looking like a tourist destination! It's time for you all to act sensible in this country. Too many people running around lawless! And at this point it doesn't matter where you are from. You want to show you good at what you do, then show respect if you want business!

  • ???? (12/03/2015, 10:47) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply

    What about the food vans??? Popping up all over?????

  • Edmund (12/03/2015, 10:55) Like (17) Dislike (16) Reply
  • Hmmm (12/03/2015, 11:01) Like (45) Dislike (8) Reply
    What is an eye sore is the garage in the heart on Road Town by the Fonseca...Why the government dont do something about that eye sore? But no they aint going trouble them boys because they looking votes.
    • yes (12/03/2015, 11:22) Like (0) Dislike (11) Reply
      Shut your backside, and check your districit that paying people for vote.
    • Dragon (12/03/2015, 11:40) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
      Yes "Hmmm" you are right, but I read months ago that the government was going to move Fonseca out. A horrible sight and mess in the middle of our capital, place looks like a slum , votes or no votes it should never be allowed.
    • boyz on the block (12/03/2015, 12:12) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      What about that garage in front of scotia bank?
      • Who it belong to? (12/03/2015, 13:27) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        That's private poperty isn't as easy to deal with verses moving people from a public sidewalk to a public market square.
    • Hmmmm (12/03/2015, 12:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Seriously ?, an eyesore?...Have you heard lately the rise in non communicable diseases affecting the territory. Have you thought once , that these Non Communicable diseases are caused by all the processed foods we eat here in the BVI. It is time to wake up BVI and realise that Non processed organicly grown foods are the best foods to eat. It gives good health and longevity. If you want to call this an eyesore, think again
    • Question ? (12/03/2015, 13:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Is the land private or public?
    • :/ (12/03/2015, 16:25) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      It was proposed that a space down duffs bottom be given to them to carry all those eye sores call vehicles from town. Those boys don't want to move from town & go all the way down there so until somebody gets dead serious & put down they foot regarding that matter those boys will remain. Ever see what behind by the living quarters look like? well it explains why the front looks the way it does. No pride for the place atall and this is right in the middle of the town.
  • the rock (12/03/2015, 11:22) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    at Hummm, them boys run the show, real and come again!
  • car key (12/03/2015, 11:44) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    ndp trying ah ting but bouy tis too late them GONE
  • Lily Ann (12/03/2015, 11:49) Like (8) Dislike (10) Reply
    VIP Allowed this shttt to continue for far too long... because of family and friends affair !!!!
  • Yes (12/03/2015, 12:00) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    BVI is a royal mess.
    1.Produce from anywhere, grown under any condition, sold by anyone anywhere on BVI streets, in the guise of local.
    2.people from anywhere blocking off prime land to sell produce from anywhere.
    3.a permanent secretary who dabbing in accountancy and importing giant snake pets.
    4.a clueless government who don't care what infested produce, dirt from other countries, and non native snakes and animals can do to local agriculture and public health and safety? trade license needed for people selling produce on street, But go pay rent and open a shop government every minute harassing you about hand washing facilities, proper storage of food, and exterminating RATS.
  • maizy (12/03/2015, 12:43) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    she dont really like island people i hear them say but what his name is a island man
  • Guest (12/03/2015, 12:46) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well he is willing to sell in the middle of the road, and I am willing to run his @$$ over. What's the problem I don't see any obstacles there? People like to play ignorant, but it always have one person more ignorant than you...
  • Lily Ann (12/03/2015, 12:57) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    So u mean to tell me, they have a designated area for local produce vendors and they refuse to move to that area???????????? Hmm in other countries they wouldn't even had the nerve to say "If u move me" blah blah blah !!!! Cause 1st, they shouldn't be there.... 2nd the Police would find them ASAP .... 3rd (which should've been the 1st) - Prosecution in an event of Violating the Law...if relocated to an un designated area !!!
  • Leave her alone (12/03/2015, 12:58) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Leh she geh run down. That's all...
  • East Side (12/03/2015, 14:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    first of all i do support the new venue and approach to have street side vendors relocated. i think the government should expand the market to facilitate this move. as a tourist destination the capital should be clean, better organised and structured. as much as how we are casting the political blame.. the VIP government was faced with the same issue when vendors were asked to be removed from the cruise ship pier. so what? let them be foolish and face the consequence.
  • local home grown is local (12/03/2015, 15:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    she right about what she is saying no mix with import product.local grown is local,for local market.
  • Worker (12/03/2015, 15:38) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    they need to stop selling in the middle of our parking lot, they put their tents anywhere and then we have to find place to park our cars it's not right, why can't they use the market like they suppose to
  • ...... (12/03/2015, 16:11) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    That first paragraph is one of the most "ignorant" things I have ever heard, and is a good example of the lawlessness portrayed by our own people. I have been saying for years now, we need to restore law and order in this lil place. If locals don't respect rules, how do we expect foreigners to respect them. This place is insane meson...
  • shaw (12/03/2015, 16:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    people are so afraid of the term "zoning", but it would mark the area with rules that outside vendors are not allowed to set up, etc. I hope this includes food vendors who may not have sanitary conditions. Do they pay taxes?
    Government should look into zoning as a tool to help curb detrimental activity, and even help with kinds of buildings, parking zones etc.
  • lolololol lmao (12/03/2015, 16:42) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    lol cut down the tree and see how fast she move lol
  • Yes (12/03/2015, 16:47) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the imported stuff is no good then go sell your good local stuff then knuckleheads.
  • Y they mad (12/03/2015, 18:06) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Them just mad because the other people them getting their products sell!! One thing about about this country is that they hate a little bit of competition!!!!
  • Butu (13/03/2015, 09:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congratulations to Trade on this move. I also wonder if these vendors of imported produce are legal. Do they have the requisite licences to operate? Do they have food handlers licences? Strongly suggest that Trade does a survey.
    We need to restore order and discipline in our country!
  • LAW (14/03/2015, 20:26) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Send the police for those who do not want to abide with rules and regulations.
  • ... (15/03/2015, 22:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is petty. When I lived abroad (I will not say where), there was a local market and import market and sometimes they were blended. When persons from abroad like myself, wanted produce from home or elsewhere, they bought the imported products. No shade or offense to the local farmers.

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