Photos: Protest On Food Prices In Bermuda

February 14, 2023

[Written by Don Burgess]

It may be Valentine’s Day, but a community group has no love for the high food prices in Bermuda.

One and a Half Bags started their protest by the MarketPlace in Hamilton today, but that will not be the last store the group will be at to express concern about food prices.

Protest signs included “The Lord Giveth, merchants taketh away,” and “Greed destroys the need, sharing meets the need.”

Organizer Fern Wade told Bernews that grocery prices have risen so high that it is harder and harder for people to purchase enough groceries to feed themselves. She said, “Greed is taking food from the poor and keeping it from the rich.”

She added thousands of residents have asked about which food items should be regularly discounted. “It’s too much of us versus them when it should be we. I have to eat; you have to eat.”

Ms. Wade stressed this was not about the MarketPlace in particular but all supermarkets.

One and a Half Bags plans to be at the SuperMart on Front Street Wednesday from 9 am to 4 pm before attending the Heron Bay MarketPlace on Thursday and Modern Mart in Paget on Friday. Next week’s protests are scheduled from Monday through Friday at Somerset MarketPlace [Mon], the Shopping Centre [Tue], the Shelly Bay MarketPlace [Wed], Lindo’s Devonshire [Thu], and Miles market [Fri].

The name of One and a Half Bags comes from Ms. Wade. “I buy food for my mother, and she can only get a half a bag; she can’t afford more than half a bag. So that’s where the name came from.”

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Comments (38)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Education is the first step. Food prices are a worldwide issue, not just here. Start with asking why locally produced foods, with the exception of eggs, are more expensive than imports with all the costs. That will at least start to get these people to understand that these prices are not a Bermuda only issue.

    • saud says:

      “Education is the first step.”

      Yes! Someone please teach the electorate what “native” means.

    • Ouch says:

      That group needs help. The cost have been passed on to us from overseas. How can a merchant bear the increased cost? They should use their time to plant and encourage demand… the govt.partner with the fishermen and farmers. A waste of time by a few who need grandma’s plan on how to stretch things and plant at home.

  2. Maybee says:

    Again, whereas I believe prices are high what do they want it given to them. A business has to make money to pay for the next order,electricity to run chillers and frezzzers,pay staff,pay taxes pay insurance and on and on. Perhaps they may be better focused to have Russia stop its war, and hope there is never another pandemic

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Your view is based on economic theory.

      Remember that the PLP Government has told Bermudians that prices (and wages) can be controlled by legislation.

  3. Mark says:

    Bet they all still vote PLP. That is the reason we are in this mess.

  4. Observer says:

    Hey one and a half bags, you are lobbying the wrong group. Markups haven’t changed, profits haven’t changed. The problem lies outside of Bermuda in the big wide world, in case you haven’t noticed.

  5. Joe Bloggs says:

    I see “Don’t forget the natives” on the sign in the bottom picture.

    I have not forgotten the skink or the Cedar tree or the Cahow or the Longtail.

    There were no human beings here when Sir George Somers landed, so I do not know what is meant by “native” on that sign.

    • tucker says:

      In Bermuda, “native” means uneducated racist, with an agenda.

    • PBanks says:

      They mean locals. It’s not that deep.

      • Not says:

        They mean black people…come on, it’s not that veiled.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          There are no “natives” of Bermuda. Not black people, not white people and not Pequot people.

          Please do not use my post as an excuse to start with racial slurs.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            I remember the day when I was about 10 years old that a US tourist asked me if I was ‘a native’. I was miffed based on my lack of knowledge of the word . I was wondering if they thought I lived in a hut on the beach and wore a grass skirt all day.. lol
            Not to be confused with ‘indigenous’ or ‘endemic’ , terms often used to describe plant and animal life that exist only here , the word ‘native’ can describe any introduced species that has been here long enough to have basically naturalized and thrived over a long period of time. Plant or animal .
            I truly am a native and you more than likely are as well . And you’re right , it has nothing to do with race .

            • saud says:

              How long does it take to get status?

              “…the word ‘native’ can describe any introduced species that has been here long enough to have basically naturalized and thrived over a long period of time. Plant or animal .”

            • Tucker says:

              ” it has nothing to do with race .”

              You’re being dishonest.
              The term native is used by Bermudians to describe black people, It’s an attempt at owning the uninhabited island that those white British people shipwrecked on.

              The rest of you are, poorly, playing coy.

              • iyiyi says:

                Unfortunately you cannot change stupid is the key as so many have stated before .

              • Toodle-oo says:

                I think the word they use , which is what you might be thinking of , is ‘indigenous’.
                The word ‘native’ is almost never used.

                • Tucker says:

                  No, the word most often used by the uneducated and racist, is native.

          • saud says:

            No one’s using your post.
            Learn about nested quotes.

  6. Red Pill says:

    Ringmaster I do not know where you have been living but food prices have been ridiculously too high for many many years before covid. They are conveniently using this past pandemic as an excuse.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Food prices have been high in Bermuda for decades because we no longer produce food. We purchase and import food. That is expensive.

      But for the last year or more inflation across the developed world has been running in double digits or close to it. That is 3 or 4 times the rate of inflation for most of the past decade.

      The high inflation for the past year or so is due to a combination of the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

  7. Imjustsaying says:

    Keep it going and I hope more people join.

  8. wow says:

    What an ignorant bunch, you’re blaming the merchants? You’re extremely short sighted. You’re unwilling to help yourselves, or anyone else. You voted for this.

  9. Smh says:

    Are they going to protest Miles Market? I think not, prices are high everywhere. That is the cost if island living. Hawaii has the same problem. A waste of time.

    • PBanks says:

      The people struggling with the cost of groceries are very unlikely to have been shopping at Miles Market in the first place.

      On whether it’s a waste or time, what would you suggest they do? Smile and bear it?

      You can argue they ought to take the protest to Parliament instead of the grocery stores, but to say the protest is a waste of time comes across as elitist.

      • Yes indeed says:

        A waste of time. Or merchants will stop importing. Then we have less to buy and prices go even higher and folks become unemployed. The answer is simple. Start to grow your own and stretch your food.Grandma did it with no internet or university degrees. Grandma did not complain. Grandma was creative and solved what the protestors cannot solve. Ouch.

        • PBanks says:

          Weird comment. You’re already assuming that these folks aren’t already tightening their wallets and stretching things out and so on.

          On top of that you suggest the importers will stop importing if people protest. If people ‘grew more of their own’, then importers would bring in less anyway.

          Maybe locals should do like the Wall Street Journal suggested the other day and skip breakfast?

        • Toodle-oo says:

          ‘Grow your own food’ .. bwahaha
          Always get a kick out of that suggestion .
          People who say these things live in dreamland .

  10. Checking says:

    Sure price gouging is squeezed in there somewhere.

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    You have to smile. They complain about grocery prices but what sits on the step behind them? A case of bottled water.

    Have these people never heard of drinking tank water? It really was not that long ago that bottled water was not even available.

    With the exception of the people living near BELCO we have the best water in the world. Pure untreated rainwater. The only water equal to rain is just melted iceberg ice.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      There’s been numerous reports in recent years showing that our tank water is not as safe as it was back in the days when the lime whitewash purified the water , and there was far less motorized vehicles on the roads.
      With the “white paint” that is now used everything bad is washed off the roof and ends up in the tank.
      A high quality home water filtration/sterilization system would help but how many people have them ?
      20 years ago my neighbors had a very basic paper cartridge filter installed between their tank and pump and it took only 10 days for the new elements to turn black. I stopped drinking my tank water after Fabian.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        “There’s been numerous reports in recent years showing that our tank water is not as safe as it was back in the days when the lime whitewash purified the water”

        Can you point us to those reports please?

        I have been drinking tank water for most of my life. It hasn’t made me sick.

        And bottled water costs more than fuel for your car or truck or bike!

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Plenty of articles going back a few years now where the Health Dept was investigating cluster sicknesses in numerous households (particularly in young children) and water testing showed e-coli and other nasties in the tank from bird droppings on the roof and all sorts of heavy metal accumulation in the water as well from vehicular exhausts.

          The what is effectively white paint that is used now has no sterilizing effect like the lime wash of old.
          And another thing , as a friend of mine likes to point out ..
          What’s the first thing one sees when they open the lid of their tank ?
          Cockroaches , and normally lots of them !

          • Joe Bloggs says:

            The articles relating to Ministry of Health findings I can recall have referred to isolated cases, not a general issue.

            I accept that different paint is used for SKB and similar roofs, but that does not necessarily affect the quality of the water in the tank below.

            Again, if you can point me to a finding of a general lack of water quality in Bermuda please provide the URL. I will read it with interest.

  12. Just Asking says:

    1. Market Place is the only store that takes FA Cards. If it didn’t where will people be?

    2. Who else gives as much to the island? Bet they all be looking for the Christmas Parade
    Thank you, MP for helping where you can.