The Adrian Loveridge Column – More Local Food

Adrian Loveridge

When I hear various vested interests lobby for the greater use of our tourism sector using more locally made and available product, I am a hundred percent behind this concept, but after almost three decades pursuing this ideal, I have to admit that it is not easy as it is made to sound.

It should not take five telephone calls, emails and Facebook messages and over week later still not possible to extract a wholesale price list. With a few notable exceptions many local companies do not even have or maintain a user friendly website and/or allow online orders and payments. Even when they do, so often you place an order, which sometimes is acknowledged and when the goods are not delivered in a timely manner, you chase and are told that the supplier is out or stock.

With so much speculation about the fragility of our economy and the frequent discussion about the possibility of devaluation, I would have thought that our local manufacturers and distributors would have gone into hyperdrive to fully exploit the increase in visitor arrival numbers and dramatically update their way of conducting business.

What also appears to frequently happen, is that companies will place what can only been deemed as expensive ‘ads’ either in the printed or online media and then when potential buyers respond through the email addresses shown, nothing further is heard.

We all understand the challenges of living on a small island, the time it takes to clear customs and the uncertainty of holding predictable sufficient stocks and supplies, but there has to be a better way.

While a direct comparison with giants like the online logistical trader, Amazon, is perhaps unfair, there must be room somewhere in-between to help minimise the time it takes to source, order and receive more locally made products. There is really no plausible excuse because we have the young tech savvy people on our doorstep to make it happen.

Frankly I shudder at the thought of devaluation and the devastating effect that it could have on our tourism sector. With a largely import dependent economy, it would make an already perceived expensive destination beyond reach for people in many of our markets. Perhaps the only saving grace would be to maintain and deposit our accommodation prices in US Dollars to offset inevitable higher operational and consumable costs.

But my guess this would only greatly increase what is already an alarming practice of collecting and processing payment offshore thereby further reducing Government revenue collection, notably VAT and corporation tax.

It must be clear that this has led to the disparity of higher arrival numbers and reduced on-island spending.

Our already nervous banks must realise that tourism and its ability to generate and maintain inflows of foreign exchange is the only possible way of eventually extracting ourselves out of the current fiscal malaise.

51 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – More Local Food

  1. The following images and text pealed from Jim Webster’s FB page.

    [caption id="attachment_54295" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Dover Woods prior to Sandals getting their hands on the forest. This is also the site of one of Barbados’ oldest cemeteries. The original Christ Church.[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_54296" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Sandals Resort 2014.. Hmm, we seem to have missed a few trees. We’ll get those next year.[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_54297" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Sandals Resort, Barbados 2015[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_54298" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Sandals resort area 2016. Look, they saved a couple of trees. At least they didn’t destroy the old cemetery. Maybe they were afraid of duppies. (ghosts)[/caption]

  2. What Town and Country Planning department what??!!
    Which part of selling out our birthrights to albino-centric foreigners does Hal not get?

    This is Stinkliar arithmetic…
    – Give them 40 years tax free rights
    – Let them bring their Jamaican yardies to run things
    – Let them keep their money in Miami
    – let them cut down the trees, and do as they like..

    in exchange, they employ a few dozen labourers, maids, guards and porters, and of course they put a few Adverts in the Toronto press…

    Trust Bushie folks….
    Any country that is so idiotic MUST come out at the bottom of the IMF’s development list.
    We have taken idiocy to new levels of incredulity….

    WAIT…. What happened to other the brilliant Stinkliar plan …?
    – to buy the old abandoned Almond Hotel for millions of dollars..
    – pay millions to knock it down
    – borrow hundreds of millions to build it back….
    – then to GIVE it to the same suspect to run as his private business???

    ….and this is a suspect who is best known for DESTROYING Paradise hear…?!!


    • In most if not all developed countries some hard questions would have been asked by citizens in sync with their natural habitat.

  3. @ Hal AustinMarch 20, 2017 at 6:40 AM

    In the same ‘pocketed’ place as those Deceitful Lying Party of goons on the take???

    Why don’t you be a bit more journalistically incisive and ask:
    Where is the money to build the Hyatt Tower of Babelian confusion coming from?

    How can a country in the throes of political implosion because of an ‘undermining’ lack of confidence with junk bond status on the door step of Default and fast running out of forex for its week-to-week requirements could ever be a ‘sealed-deal’ attractive proposition to overseas investors?

    If you were a sensible investor wouldn’t you be looking to put you money in a rising star tourism destination like Cuba instead of an environmentally-compromised tired overpriced ‘has-been’ with no tradable commodities as collateral should the bottom dropout of the one-cylinder economic basket?

  4. @ David,

    Obviously the pursuit of forex is more important than the trees at Dover.

    Too besides “Natural habitat” looks awesome on a 50″ 4k TV.

  5. “already an alarming practice of collecting and processing payment offshore thereby further reducing Government revenue collection, notably VAT and corporation tax.”

    That is a serious ( criminal ?) allegation .

  6. Adrian: The problems you outline appear to be not uncommon in doing business in Barbados! The question may be is the market large enough to support a large wholesale produce business, or is the problem the “Bajan” way of doing business?

  7. …..lobby for the greater use of our tourism sector using more locally made and available product,

    I recall 20 odd years ago at the same time that the Scotland District was designated the bread basket of Bim a proposal was floated about increasing production of Bamboo in the plantations of that area as well as the introduction of another variety all for the purpose of furniture manufacturing.

    This District besides having the potential of becoming the bread basket and a supplier of handicraft material also has ample supply of high silicate sand,clay and the main component for cement making.

    The rest of Bim produces cane,animals and limestone and the potential for fish farming.

    Just goes to show that we have the raw material for furniture,tableware,roofing,walls,handicraft,glass,wood panels,clothing,footware,etc,etc,etc

    As a mannana society controlled by the merchants to whom succesive govts depend on for tax revenue we will never get there.

  8. It seems T&CP also allowed Sandals to by-pass any ‘rules’ regarding the provision for parking!!! Every side-road, avenue, & empty lot (not fenced in) in Dover is now a parking area for Sandals staff & clients. Its becoming akin to trying to make your way into Bridgetown on Hwy 7 on a morning! Try leaving, or reaching your home, in Dover between 7:15am to 9:00am on a workday!!! May take forever! Not to mention the noise pollution to residents from their industrial laundry facility!!! Imagine how much these inconveniences will increase when the expansion is completed? Throw-in the garbage dumped along the road by workers, bright lights, car alarms going off at 3:00am, partying, foul-language & noise in the parking ‘lots’ at all hours of day & night, etc……. and you wonder why most nearby residents are ‘happy’ with Sandals! Letters & complaints to Sandals, T&CP and MP’s, elicit little response or compromise.

    • Tourism is a mature industry in Barbados. There is no excuse why agriculture and tourism operations should not be further along. IF the BU household had our way we would make Tourism and Agriculture one supported by adequate manpower.

  9. Hants,

    It is serious fact. While staying at Sandals I asked for a VAT receipt for our stay. They could not produce one because they collect payment via credit card in Florida and do not pay VAT on those payments.

  10. @ David,

    Some farmers in Barbados used to sell produce to Hotels directly and sometimes through a “middle man”.

    As the industry grew, it appears that there are not enough farmers to supply the demand.

  11. David

    In the 90s we had a committee spearheaded by the Min.of Ag. called Agro-eco-tourism,its function was to bring those areas together with a view of farmers supplying the tourist industry with produce and the environmentalist creating an awareness of the eco system of Bim with nature trails and exposure to the flora and fauna.

    It died after a couple of years with the farmers unable to work together to a schedule of crop growing…..the eco ones did a bit with nature trails.

  12. David

    They have never been proactive and where ever possible have placed stumbling blocks in the path of Ag. development despite shouting the loudest for farmers.

    I was highly amused when I heard him at Agro-fest lamenting the lack of youngsters involved in Ag.

    I am yet to understand their thinking after 30 odd years involved with their likes

    • Good you mentioned Agrofest because we have been hearing raving reviews. How are we measuring it’s success?

  13. David

    Are the rave reviews for Agro-fest as a money earner for the BAS or as a stimulus for Agriculture like the Agricultural show in the park that ended in the 60s used to be? I know it was food for thought for me and encouraged my abiding interest in Ag..

    If its the later,his cry for youth says it all.

    • Don’t you think the time we have been holding Agrofest we should be seeing the results in increasing exports driven by deep linkage with the tourism sector?

  14. David

    Agro-fest is meant as a money earner for the BAS,for what purpose other than admin costs I do not know.

    Agriculture in general has been going downhill before Agro-fest and no viable programs have been put in place by any related organisation to stop the slide.

    The cry of lacking money to do anything is a nonsense as much can be done without a cent but with creative thinking…..note our downgrades will stand us in good stead going after grant funds that abound in the western world.

  15. @ Hal Austin March 20, 2017 at 6:40 AM #

    Where is the Town and Country Planning department?

    Their on American Airlines flight to Florida with the corruption $’s for deposit into their PERSONAL Us Bank Accounts.

  16. @ David March 20, 2017 at 7:58 AM #

    “In most if not all developed countries some hard questions would have been asked by citizens in sync with their natural habitat.”

    I agree with you, Barbados is not a developed country, citizenry is docile political dimwits.

  17. as you down the road to maxwell there was a grave right in where sandals was cutting trees i wonder whos it was and did they just bulldoze over it

  18. @ David,

    Wow the timeline of those aerial shots paints a thousand words! Of cause you do realise that this is simply a continuation of what has happened in the past. Can you imagine how beautiful Barbados was prior to colonisation.

    Expect more of this type of destruction over the next ten years. We are a listless nation just drifting along with no idea where the tide plans to take us.

    • @Exlaimer

      We should not forget the number of very old trees chopped at the Paradise aka Four Seasons site.

  19. Wily,

    There is a lesson for the Barbados authorities in regard to allowing senior civil servants, the military and senior police to fraternise with foreign diplomats from the Senate hearing on US security now taking place.
    I am surprised that this is allowed in Barbados. We talked about this before in this forum and I mentioned the jigsaw strategy of getting information.
    To allow our Coastguards, defence force, police and senior civil servants to mix socially with these people is highly dangerous. The Chinese must be laughing their heads off.
    A video of this hearing should be compulsory viewing for the local authorities.


  20. @ Hal Austin March 20, 2017 at 1:35 PM #

    Did you hear the Cave Hill Campus is making Chinese language a mandatory per-requisite to future enrollment, tough in cheek.

  21. Wily,

    You say that in jest. We already have a Confucius society and the Chinese will demand more. As it happens, I have been reading this morning about the Chinese invasion in Africa – starting with Angola.
    Those low interest loans are going to come back to haunt us. Watch out for the honeytrap. That is the one that will get Bajan men.

  22. @Adrian. You are looking at only one side of the devaluation equation. Yes, imports will increase, but our tourism product becomes cheaper to foreigners. Therefore, theoretically speaking, with cheaper price we will be able to sell more vacation package. Also, our biggest cost , labour, which is payable in Barbados currency, becomes more competitive.

  23. If devaluation would make Barbados a more expensive tourist destination, Jamaica and other countries with weak currency were the most expensive. Argumentum ad absurdum, the contrary is true. Australia, Norway and Switzerland, three countries with very strong currencies, are amongst the most expensive destinations, not a country like Jamaica.

    Devaluation does not affect the price for foreign tourists, but only for locals earning Micky Mouse dollars. Rather, devaluation lowers the price for local services and motives civil servants to work harder.

    However, the local establishment rules out devaluation, thus limiting the remedies for the “Lost Barbadian Decade”. At least in bargain theory, you should never rule out something at the very beginning. The political decision pro devaluation would enable to control the whole process to a certain degree. If it happens beyond political control, there won´t be a new peg, but a permanently sliding currency – like Jamaica.

  24. On the Sandals property ,just off the Dover road, there is a sizable storage tank containing, I assume, fuel of some nature. I am surprised that permission would have been given to store such quantity of fuel ,above ground, in a densely populated, hotel and residential area.

  25. Tron,

    Devaluation will make Barbados a cheaper destination; appreciation will make it more expensive.

  26. Hants,
    Most corned beef comes from Argentina. But a ban is not enough. Brazil exported its rotten met to 150 countries. Was Barbados on its list, if so, who were the importers? Where are our 9-5, five days a week media?

  27. @ Hal AustinMarch 21, 2017 at 3:20 AM
    “Most corned beef comes from Argentina. But a ban is not enough. Brazil exported its rotten met to 150 countries. Was Barbados on its list, if so, who were the importers? Where are our 9-5, five days a week media?”

    Hants, this is a case of:
    “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

    Barbados has been rotten meat for years. West Africa and Caribbean territories with large black populations make rather profitable markets for evil merchants.

    The poorly handled meat should really be sent to zoos to feed the carnivores but instead end up as food laced with chemicals that mimic the effects of formaldehyde for consumption primarily by blacks in third world countries.

    Corrupt food inspection officials and politicians on the take are easily bribed to turn a blind eye to such threats to public health.

    And don’t expect to see any follow up by that so-called people’s watchdog the fourth estate.
    The media are in the pockets of the advertisers and those peddling the same sub-standard imports.

    Just look at the case involving the importation and subsequent cover-up of the condemned chicken wings scandal in the Bajan meat market and you might just be able to see the tip of the iceberg of the meat importation problem.

    Do you expect the political chatterbox Dumbville the gearbox of controversy to have a say on the current meaty matter?

    It is not just the dirty air riddled with particles from diesel and petrol exhaust that are making Bajans sick but also the badly prepared and preserved imported ‘stale’ food that are contributing to the spike in obesity and cancer rates.

    Bajans are too enamoured with the eating of imported suspect ‘second-hand’ foods instead of those fresh from the local garden and fields or even slaughterhouses.

    Whoever controls what and when you eat controls your social and economic destiny.

    When a country allows its environment to be degraded by the widespread pile-up of ‘rotten’ garbage, its air to be polluted, its potable water to be put at risk and its food supply to be compromised then a deadly cocktail of continuing threats to human and animal health must be the resulting mixture.

  28. Miller,

    Every time I raise questions about the poor quality journalism in Barbados, ordinarily sensible people come out rather defensively putting flawed arguments in support of the reporters.
    But journalism in Barbados is woefully bad. Just leave the country for a few days and look back.
    Even better, go to Europe or North America and read ordinary daily papers and compare them with local papers. It is not a question of money, but of skills.
    I have suggested before that the community college and/or the university should sponsor a quality journalism course in order to raise standards.
    I think Carl Moore, if he is interested, is a good person to head such a course. We get the Nation here in the UK, and apart from the obituaries, it is dreadful. I have stopped my order from the local news agent. The content is dreadful.

  29. Lets hope that we do not start seeing corn beef arriving on our supermarket shelves, with a Made in China (re) label.

  30. Food for thought:

    ” ONE OF BARBADOS’ largest importers of corned beef from Brazil is up in arms with Government’s decision on Tuesday to place a temporary ban on all imported meat and meat products from the South American country.

    And a major Brazilian distributor which has that Barbadian company as one of its major clients, is standing by the quality of the corned beef it exports to the Caribbean as well.
    Eddie Pile, purchasing manager of Western Wholesalers Inc., said he understood Government’s intent might have been protecting the health of consumers, but stressed there wasn’t enough proof that should have led the Ministry of Agriculture to force retailers to stop selling corned beef.

    A check at a number of retail outlets yesterday morning, including Massy Warrens, Popular Discounts, Carlton Supermarket and Young Supermarket in Baxters Road, revealed that the corned beef had been taken off their shelves. (BA)”

    See more at:

  31. Exclaimer March 23, 2017 at 6:38 AM #
    It only goes to show the the merchant class , like the politicians in Barbados only think of their personal wealthfare.
    Earlier this week we read of the many Brazilians who are foraging daily in the garbage bins of that country to find a meal, however putrid, or worm infested to sustain themselves and members of their families.
    Brazil one of the largest producers of Corn Beef, must have got massive warehouses of the stuff in stock. Are these hungry Brazilians turning their backs on this stuff, in preference to foraging?
    But this is not the first time that questions have been raised concerning the integrity of Brazilian corn beef. It may however be the first time that it has been made public.
    While on a military exercise , some years ago in BAOR, a global signal was sent to all British units in possession of Ration Packs. The order was to remove every tin of Corn Beef from within these ration packs, place them under the wheels and tracks of our military vehicles, and crushed them into the ground. The military had done its due diligence, but apparently never passed on its findings to the civil authorities.

  32. Who is listening to this lady from Moody’s on the afternoon talk show? Here is what she advises -the government should invest MORE in agriculture. FOOD SECURITY she says is important.


  33. This is our Government’s idea of Food Security. Allowing massive warehouses to fester all over Barbados, to bring Barbadians more rotten corn beef ,chicken wings and other condemned stuff from outside the region.. This one pictured,sadly, is located in what used to be one of the most vibrant industrial estates in Barbados. Instead of producing and exporting, we are now importing all of our needs, while cultivating fields of wild river tamarind.

  34. Adrian,

    Devaluation will make Barbados more affordable to visitors, therefore more people will visit. This goes hand in glove with reducing our non-essential imports. It is not rocket science.

  35. More to the point. Has anybody noticed the cost of our imported food? I have also noticed that since the Indians from Trinidad entered the retail food market that their has been an increase of foreign produce and a massive decrease in the number of produce originating from Barbados on the shelves. I have always used Supersavers in Warrens and i can confirm to you that it (now called Masseys) is always packed out with shoppers.

    The vast majority of the food sold in this shop appears to be nothing more than processed junk.

  36. David

    I listened to the lady from Moodys and was happy to be validated in what I have preaching for the last 40 years with respect to Agriculture and sustainabilty,if the devaluation comes into play we will no longer be able to afford the 10 brand names of the same type food that we presently import.

    We hope that the govt reactivates its seed bank and hopefully it does not have in gmo seeds.

    Note a devaluation only benefits a net exporter not a net importer irregardless as to how many tourists arrive.

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