Street vendors and farmers reaped sizeable profits from the 2022 Crop Over Festival although it was not a “bumper” season for them.
The heads of various farming and vendor associations reported a positive outcome and an uptick in sales during the annual summer festival that returned after a two-year hiatus, following the ease in restrictions that had been implemented as a result of COVID-19.
Vice-president of the Barbados Pig Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd David Catlyn told Barbados TODAY members saw increased sales, particularly from people who visited the island to take part in the festivities as well as from food vendors at various events.
He added that the demand for pudding and souse was also picking back up and the co-op’s membership was taking full advantage of that.
President of the Pig Farmers Association Henderson Williams said the season concluded on a high note for his members.
He said while statistics were not available at this time, “from a brief assessment of what we are seeing, there were increased sales”.
“The farmers are happy. It isn’t the bumper Crop Over ever held, given the anxiety and caution in relation to COVID-19, but it was a better [period] than last year,” Williams said.
President of the Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association Stephen Layne said it was a relatively good season with “small increases overall” in the poultry division.
However, he reported that one of the major egg producers reported a 50 per cent increase in sales, which he attributed to a spike in the production of bread and pastries to meet demands for the seasonal activities.
President of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN) Alister Alexander said that while there was some level of disappointment due to the change in the Grand Kadooment route, which did not offer as lucrative business opportunities as the original route, vendors were able to make “a little dollar”.
“With changes in anything there is always an uncertainty in business, but overall it would have been good. We had nothing in the past two years and it would have given people a lot of hope. Vendors were also pleased with the outcome of our Bridgetown market and are looking forward to another event of that nature,” he said.
Owner of B.A.R. Cutters food truck business Jamal Hall said it was a significant period for his business which catered for Foreday Morning and Kadooment bands.
He said business also picked up at major events such as The Republic Bank Pandemonium and The Reunion show.
“The last week was very good, we did pretty good. It wasn’t like previous years but I will take it as a win for us,” Hall said.
Owner of Street Pasta, Sherland Waithe said his offerings were “well received” at a number of events.
“There was a boost in sales. Everybody was out having fun and eating so we had a good Crop Over. It was something the economy needed and we also got the opportunity to build new clientele, network and market our product,” he said.