A culture of bare faced greed!
Have you seen the prices of fruits and vegetables lately? You certainly need to be a government official if you want to be able to afford them! All the workers toiling for minimum wage and single moms certainly won’t be able to afford a kilogram of undersized apples for the price of twelve guilders. I looked twice as I saw that because this is almost the price of peaches. A kilogram of Elstar, one of the most common apples, for 9.60 guilders! To be fair I kept on looking over a period of at least two months. There were no affordable apples around. The cheapest ones I saw were priced with just below seven guilders for one kilogram!
No, this has nothing to do with the tragically incompetent trade and economic politics we face not just right now but most of the times. Politicians just know how to fill their very own pockets! That’s another point worthy to be thoroughly discussed in one of my next letters. Is it that we aren’t just in the hands of greedy grocers but also victims of massive corruption all around our foods? Certainly, I do know that our import from Venezuela has stopped. By now we are getting to know why, namely, because some of our people, for sure not many of us, I would say only a handful are busy with a lucrative gold trade. Not that those, so to say golden boys, would do any good otherwise to the island. For sure they pay no taxes as it is so to say all transit only and of course mainly an illegitimate business as most of it is smuggled anyway. But such a handful makes all of us to victims. Which kind of society is that, having no security shield and problem-solving standard in place that something like this is taking place?
Speaking to a friend which works in food logistic, he tells me that there are those laws protecting the local agriculturists. I never heard that “producing local” needs to be protected especially when it is happening on a macro scale anyway. If good stuff is produced anyone of us will happily buy it and most of us will even give preference to it. But thinking it all through it becomes very clear to me that we are having a sky-high price inflation also partly created due to all those import regulations which are hindering a real competition.
Anyone a bit interested in tropical agriculture can plant quite a bit in its very own garden. Have a look at one of our wonderful Papaya trees which are loaded with fruits in phenomenal big shapes and absolutely delicious! It might be a totally wrong approach to protect only some of us and as a result, many others have to suffer for all those consequences. Trade on a small island must be free of all barriers especially of those which have a tendency to favor some small groups only and one of those group, namely our grocers, can than victimize us by skimming us off our hard earned money day after day!
How nutty must a purchasing department be to order so-called baby papayas grown in the United States and selling it to us for twenty guilders a kilogram? On any Caribbean island those would be called bird papayas and left on the trees! Don’t we have people with trade abilities here which can establish trading routes to Columbia or other countries?
There are existing trading routes from Chile, Argentina, China and others to Miami – in a way just a stone throw away – one just has to connect there so not anything really new to be found out. It seems to me that people are able to ship smuggled gold, weapons, people and drugs but one isn’t able to create a food trade line with another next door neighbor? Come on, don’t tell me this! So what is going on with this island?
Do we have to keep on throwing our money into the throats of our ever greedy grocers? Ask anyone who ever visited Colombia how wonderfully sweet and delicious their fruits and vegetables are. So why is it that we would have to keep on buying apples so small which I never ever saw on a wild apple tree for a six times inflated price? Apples on the world market are really cheap to get. Just simply anywhere apples are growing plentiful and due to embargo politic European apple growers sometimes don’t even know where to sell them to.
One thing I can tell you for sure those little apples sold in most of the supermarkets right now for high prices are sorted out undersized apples which didn’t make it to other markets because of being too small. Any exporter/importer can buy the ton for almost nothing! And please don’t tell me that it is the freight which makes this rubbish quality so expensive! We all are victims of our grocers’ greed and we have to rebel against it in the most efficient possible way, namely, by not buying their rampantly over prized stuff anymore!
By Marry Simpson