Farmer’s Stand Closed, Petition, Govt Comment

April 15, 2021 | 30 Comments

[Updated with comment from Government] A petition was started today — attaining over 2,000 signatures in under 5 hours — asking the Bermuda Government to “allow people to buy from farm and fisherman stalls” during the Stay At Home period, which began on Tuesday.

This follows after a local farming business posted on social media saying, “What could be more essential than food? We have been shut down. All of Bermuda’s farmers and fishermen need to be able to sell to the public,” with the matter being widely discussed.

The petition says, “The Bermuda Shelter in Place regulations allow farmers and fishermen to continue to work, but their stalls are not classed as ‘permitted businesses’ for people to purchase from.

“It is much healthier to buy fresh local produce from an open air stall, than it is to buy imported goods from a windowless shop.

“It is also a blow to local farmers and fishermen if they cannot sell their produce at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to support local food supply chains.

“The regulations need to be amended to allow people to purchase local produce from open air vendors.”

We asked the Government for comment and will update if able, noting that we just asked so do not expect an instant response, however have submitted a query for consideration.

Update 10.32pm: The Government confirmed that the police “closed a roadside vegetable stand” and said that “any registered Commercial Farmer or Licensed Fisherman that needs to sell their products directly before next Tuesday can apply to the Ministry of National Security for an exemption.”

A spokesperson said, “Under the Public Health (Covid-19 Emergency Powers) (Stay At Home) Regulations 2021 registered commercial farmers and licensed fishermen are not required to work from home and therefore they can tend to their crops and catch fish.”

According to the Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban, “Regarding the issue that happened earlier today where the Bermuda Police Services closed a roadside vegetable stand, that is in keeping with the regulations where we are trying to keep movement and activity to a minimum during the 7 days that the current Stay at Home order is in effect.

“Any registered Commercial Farmer or Licensed Fisherman that needs to sell their products directly before next Tuesday can apply to the Ministry of National Security for an exemption.

“If the exemption is granted, persons will be given specific permission for the time and location, along with safety measures that must be observed. Any registered Commercial Farmer or Licensed Fisherman that is granted permission to operate will be subject to the supervision Department of Environment and Natural Resources.”

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Comments (30)

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  1. Proven says:

    No! It is a dictatorship.

  2. John says:

    This lockdown has gone way to far. How about lockdown weekends and an early curfew. For God sake let people work at least. This is just too much. When the people are ready to protest I’m with you.

    • Agreed! says:

      AGREED!

      I don’t go to parties on the weekend, or socialize and I’m vaccinated. But I want to work and pay my bills!!!!

      Curfew 7pm everyday. Whatever, just let us work.

  3. Paul says:

    The premier, is loosing a lot of respect over the latest closures,
    and why was the scheduled conference cancelled at the last minute today..

  4. Kai says:

    And going to pick up your farm fresh veggies on your push bike are gonna cost you $6k. Ya can’t make this ship up!

  5. Chris says:

    A Total lockdown is needed. No groceries, no pharmacies . You people think it’s a joke treating lockdown as a holiday!
    Essential workers get no extra pay , no time off and all of you just put extra pressure on them. They don’t get rich !! Owners get all $$$. Stay home Bda!!! Grow up and be serious .

    • Patricia says:

      OMG I agree Chris! A total lockdown.some ppl just dnt get it. There r 17, 17 ppl dead. Think abt tht. Too many for this small island and too many infected either low grade or full virus.

  6. Ringmaster says:

    Why a petition to allow them? There was a stall near the SB Marketplace yesterday.

  7. Real Deal says:

    little do people know that eating the vegetation grown in the local environment is directly tied to your bodies ability to successfully adapt and survive in that environment.

  8. Gwyn says:

    This is so silly. Why oh why is buying local produce going to add to the covid problem. The government has lost the pl

    ot. So sad.

  9. Weak says:

    The constant demands to open up and the talk about taking away rights while the Govt is trying to save lives indicates how weak we are. We simply cannot sacrifice longer than a day even to save our own lives. So open and let them experience the real covid world. When they cry just hand them the comments above. This is a war and a crisis with few answers. The sacrifices now will be worth it but if you all convince the Govt to give in. Get ready to go upstairs or downstairs.And you will regret it. Crocidile tears all day long on the Talk Shows Facebook and here. Give them what they want. Death.

    • Patricia says:

      THANK U, Weak!!!!

    • A Reality Check says:

      Silly comment. So you are in grave danger by driving to an outdoor vegetable stand on your allotted day to buy fresh fruit and vegetables that help your immune system battle diseases?
      Safer, apparently, to squeeze into an indoor store after standing in line to buy foreign produce that’s days or weeks old.
      Farmers and fishermen are essential workers per the regulations. But their fish and produce must rot as they are unable to bring it to market.
      Remember restaurants, that generally buy much of the fish etc are closed.
      Completely incomprehensible that the police shut them down.
      A massive overstep and will rapidly lose the confidence of the people.

      • Sylvia says:

        Completely agree.

        • busted says:

          as long as the farm stands and fishmongers can SAFELY AND PROPERLY deal with SOCIAL 6FEET apart line at a time alphabetical shoppers so let them but this is where i see it falling down. The general public can’t follow the rules.

          • Fisherman says:

            It has been done since last year safe distancing, masks. Fear mongering going on.

    • Fear is dominating you says:

      How is 0.0026% mortality of the worlds population a reason for lockdowns. Death has always been apart of life. Get over it! Your just living in fear . Just how they want you to

  10. Let's Keep It Real says:

    if we have been in a Stay At Home, how has these fishermen caught their fish? or is this a imported catch that appears Bermudian caught? The farm products as well, what percentage is locally grown?
    Why should they be privileged, when many others have professions and financial obligation that require them to be catering to the public as well?

  11. Dejavu says:

    The government is absolutely right the local farmers aren’t running proper shops. It’s literally a dirty table on the side of our main roads. Prices of their goods are pretty much the same as the stores, which makes no sense being they have less overheads. So the government isn’t wrong for stopping unsanitary businesses from running during a pandemic. Because none of those stalls even have hand sanitizer or security to make sure masks are being worn and people are social distancing. The people running the stalls just want money and 2000 signatures means nothing

  12. 2020 Won says:

    You lot think Roban cares about farmers and fisherman? The only vegetable he sees is a potato after it’s been sliced and deep fried. He drives up in his GP car for his Danish pastries any day he likes. No Wednesday and Saturday limits for him. Whenever his little tummy rumbles, it’s into that comfy GP car and off he toddles.

    Let them eat cake indeed.

  13. Unbelievable says:

    Latest report from the health minister is that they are inundated with exemption requests and that “most” will be rejected. Then shortly thereafter the environment minister chimes in to note that if fish and farm stalls want to open they have to apply for an exemption. It seems that the ministries are working in bubbles and are not communicating with each other. Fresh fish and vegetables have a short shelf life, let these hard working people sell their product in outside stalls. They are allowed to farm and fish during lock down but then cannot sell it direct to consumer? Pointless. An outside stall is actually safer that a grocery store if social distancing and masks are utilized.
    This has been poorly managed by the government.

    • Warrior says:

      Saw on the way to Hamilton yesterday, those yellow and blue trucks and heavy equipment leaving former airport, going back to Devonshire. Bet they got exemptions without any hesitancy.

  14. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Any registered Commercial Farmer or Licensed Fisherman that needs to sell their products directly before next Tuesday can apply to the Ministry of National Security for an exemption.”

    Dear Minister Roban, might I suggest that you speak with your colleague, Health Minister Kim Wilson. Minister Wilson says this, “The Government has “been inundated with exemption requests” and “the vast majority of these requests will not be approved”.” See https://bernews.com/2021/04/govt-inundated-exemption-requests/

  15. joe says:

    If the elderly got the vaccine (that we have plenty of doses for) there would be no (or very little) death. Its the 35% of the elderly population that are the reason we are all locked up this week. It is extremely rare for younger ppl to end up in ICU. Ignorant elderly are the problem. Get the frigging vaccine so we can all get back to work. We have protected you all this time. DO YOUR PART!!!

  16. Sugra says:

    Permitted Businesses 7:00AM – 7:00PM
    Curfew 7:00PM – 7:00AM

    Is there any wonder Govt is “inundated” with exemption requests? Previously there was an hour window at each end… allowing permitted business personnel enough time to get TO and FROM work without requiring exemptions.

    There is also no provision for group exemptions when a business has a high number of personnel to process. You are expected to fill out the online for each and every worker… AGAIN. Presumably you then wait and wait for an answer while they process this self-created backlog.

    The answer to the farmers/fishermen screw up… and it IS a screw up… is simply to grant blanket exemption with quick amendment to the regulation. But no… can’t admit the mistake so all you lot get online and then wait… while your produce rots and your fish spoils.

    AMATUER HOUR

  17. Bermydude says:

    So you can purchase fish and produce from a grocery store in an ecnclosed space and can’t do an out door market
    THIS GOVERNMENT needs to look outside h to hdd Ed box

  18. Confused says:

    I am sympathetic to the farmers and local fishermen. But when I went to Lindo’s in Warwick today there wasn’t a single local fish to be had. I asked the man behind the counter and he said they would buy any local fish (from a licensed fisherman) they could. So…why not sell your local fish to Lindos? What am I missing here?

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