NIA to lobby hotels, supermarkets and restaurants to buy local produce
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (January 21, 2021) – Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, says his government intends to agitate for hotels, restaurants and supermarkets on the island to purchase food from local farmers and producers.
During his address at the Nevis Ministry of Agriculture’s annual planning symposium, Agenda 2021, Mr. Brantley recognized Hotelier Mr. Richard Lupinacci, proprietor of The Hermitage Inn in Nevis as a friend of local agriculture, commending his business for utilizing local products on their menu, and calling on other businesses to emulate this practice.
“We need really a renaissance in terms of our thinking, in terms of our approach to ensure that our people support our local farmers. So that farmers do not have the problem that they have complained about of producing and them having their food rot because they have no market…
“In that regard I can tell you that my government is very serious about talking to our hotels, talking to our restaurants, talking to our supermarkets and saying to them that if product is available locally, that must get first preference.
“I think it’s a very simple thing that the big hotels must follow the example of The Hermitage [Inn]. That people coming in to visit with us, vacationing with us would actually like to taste what we have available on the island – local product; because it is superior in quality,” he said.
The Premier stressed the need for these businesses and the general public to buy local food in order to support local growers and producers and help keep the economy afloat.
“Our farming community and our farmers in particular are looking to farming as a livelihood. They need to feed their families; they need to send their children to school. The only way they can do that is if we as a people buy their produce, and it irks me, I confess, when I see substandard produce in the supermarkets being sold ahead of our locally produced fruits and vegetables,” he said.
Mr. Brantley added, that he remains hopeful that in his lifetime the people of Nevis can get to a point where they would substitute most of the food items being imported and start buying and eating local.