“Quite often what we’ll do is we’ll have the us and the local side by side and make the customer make the choice of what they want to buy,” said Leon Lajat, Fosters Food Fairs Senior Meat & Seafood Manager
As Fosters Food Fair buys local produce, they must also import from abroad to meet stock demands.
“But in order to get more products as far as produce is concerned, fresh vegetables and stuff, there isn’t enough grown locally and we get what we can and sell as much as we could, anything else we have to subsidize with us products,” said Mr Lajat.
He says local products are more expensive than U-S products because the cost of labour is higher Cayman and our crops are not mass-produced.
“Well, U-S products are usually mass-produced, I mean you have huge acres and acres of land for them to work, you’ve got farmers there, pickers that do it quickly or automatically the big machines that can pick a lot of the produce,” Mr Lajat said.
“But for our homegrown vegetables, the price’s do not fluxute drastically around the island at the farmers market, plantain can range from one dollar to a dollar fifty per pound, while at Fosters it’s 99 cents a pound of nice fresh red tomatoes will range from two to three dollars per pound at the market, which is what it will cost you at Fosters as well”, he continued, “we make a little less money on it, have smaller margins to offer the customers to as close to the us price as possible.”
The risk associated with local farming is the threat that a Hurricane can destroy crops Island wide
“Cayman islands is pretty small, it’s not like there is a lot of land for us to, if this area has been hit by a storm, the other area you can draw from , it does not have a lot of farming land compared to other countries,” said Mr Lajat.
In the end, imports may be slightly cheaper, but it’s up to the consumer to decide whether it’s worth the price to buy local.