PHILIPSBURG–More than 1,000 persons have benefitted from the St. Maarten Consumers Coalition’s fresh fruits and vegetables programme launched at the WIFOL Building last week Saturday, and continued with sales during the week.
Coalition representative Claire Elshot said at a press conference on Thursday that the response to the event had been very positive. “We have received so many positive reactions that it is now proven that the members of our affiliated organisations are happy and fully in support of the programme,” Elshot said.
The initiative is part of the Coalition’s food and nutrition programme to help alleviate the burden on households by selling fruits, vegetables, provisions and other essentials from the Dominican Republic to members of its affiliate organisations for 30 to 40 per cent cheaper than what they cost in supermarkets.
“People have asked us why people, who were not members of the labour unions or St. Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association could also benefit from the programme. We have to explain that everyone in our society is a consumer. We have to love our neighbour as ourselves. This is the golden rule! We should not discriminate any consumer.
“People have also asked us what we do to prevent persons from purchasing boxes of fruits, veggies and provision to sell those at a higher price to the consumers. That would defeat the purpose we have to bring down the prices of food. We explained that by providing these quality products and these prices to our members, all consumers can become aware that members of the organizations affiliated to Consumers Coalition can benefit from affordable prices. Information about our prices and our produce will be broadcast via WhatsApp to all who are registered in the programme and by the affiliated organisations. By word of mouth everyone can be made aware that they have a choice now to get affordable health.”
Elshot said the Coalition was told that it is competing with supermarkets and mini markets on the island. “We have to explain that only businesses can compete with one another. Sint Marten Consumers Coalition is not a business. Our members in the affiliated organisations are consumers, whom we have united; by uniting their purchasing power we get better prices for the produce. Any business which can provide our consumers with the same quality produce and at the same affordable prices is welcome to serve our members.”
Persons interested in volunteering can inform Coalition representatives or message us at tel. 554-7031 or 526-3189.
A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables were on sale during the event, including cucumbers, carrots, beets, plantain, pumpkin, sweet potato, yams, sweet peppers, celery, oregano, mint, herbs, tomatoes, avocados, pineapples, mangoes, papaya, limes, bananas and organic honey, amongst other things.