Published On: Mon, Sep 8th, 2014

Curaçao enters third week without tomatoes

Floating marketWILLEMSTAD – For now, consumers will have to conform themselves that in the near future there won’t be any tomatoes on their menu. This is after the Venezuelan boats failed to bring tomatoes one more time to the island. This is because of the export ban on tomatoes.

Even the popular fast food restaurants Subway doesn’t have tomatoes anymore. Besides tomatoes, there is a shortage of other vegetables too on the island.

According to a representative of one of the largest supermarkets on the island, every Thursday they wait at the docks for the Venezuelan boats to bring vegetables. “This time again, they came without tomatoes,” the representative said.

A sailor on one of the Venezuela boats, who has been coming to Curaçao for 30 years now, indicated that the reason for the export prohibition could be contraband of these Venezuelan products, which causes shortages. Another reason could be the raining season in Venezuela. “Fact is that we are not allowed to bring tomatoes with us anymore,” the sailor said.

Fruit and vegetables can also be imported from other countries such as the Dominican Republic, Colombia or the United States. As a result, the island will be less dependent on the situation in Venezuela, but the downside is that it will increase the transport costs, which in turn will increase the retail price.

According to the MP for the opposition party PAR, Zita Jesus-Leito, there must be a diplomatic solution to this issue. Recently she wrote a letter to the Government in which she asks to find a solution. “This is really alarming and we need to know what is happening,” the MP stated in her letter.

Besides vegetables, there is also a ban on fresh fish. For days now, Venezuelan boats docking at the floating market did not bring in any fish.

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