The Barbados Consumer Empowerment Network (BCEN) and the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organizations (BARNUFO) issued the following joint press statement on Saturday, announcing a resolution on fish weight concerns:
The Barbados Consumer Empowerment Network (BCEN) and the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organizations (BARNUFO) convened in a collaborative meeting on November 23, to address the growing concerns raised by consumers regarding discrepancies in fish weight and pricing. Officers from the Fisheries Division were also in attendance.
The discussions focused on finding common ground to ensure consumer satisfaction and fairness in transactions involving the sale and purchase of fish.
After thorough and constructive dialogue, both parties are pleased to announce that a meeting of minds has been achieved, leading to a mutual understanding of the issues at hand. The BCEN and BARNUFO have collaboratively developed a set of initiatives and guidelines aimed at addressing and rectifying the concerns raised by frustrated consumers.
Key Points/Guidelines Coming Out of the Meeting:
- Transparent Weighing Practices: BARNUFO commits to implementing transparent weighing practices across all member vendors to ensure accuracy and fairness in the determination of fish weights.
- Consumer Education Campaign: BCEN and BARNUFO will collaborate on an extensive consumer education campaign to inform the public about fair market practices, understanding fish weights, and their rights as consumers.
- Quality Assurance Measures: BARNUFO in collaboration with the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) and the Markets Division will establish and enforce quality assurance measures to guarantee that consumers receive fish of the specified weight and quality, as advertised.
- Open Communication Channels: Both parties recognize the importance of maintaining open communication channels and the importance of clear communication during the sale and purchase of fish. BCEN and BARNUFO will establish from time to time a forum for ongoing discussions to address emerging concerns and foster a continuous dialogue between consumers and fish vendors.
- Training and Capacity Building: Both parties commit to working collaboratively on delivering training and capacity building initiatives in partnership with the Fisheries Division.
In a joint statement, representatives from BCEN and BARNUFO expressed their commitment to working together to ensure a fair and transparent marketplace for consumers while supporting the livelihoods of fish vendors.
“We believe that this collaborative effort with BARNUFO will significantly contribute to building trust between consumers and fish vendors. Transparent practices and ongoing communication are crucial for the integrity of the fish markets,” Executive Director of BCEN Maureen Holder said.
President of BARNUFO Vernel Nicholls said: “We are committed to implementing the agreed-upon measures to address the concerns raised by consumers. We believe that these initiatives will not only enhance consumer confidence but also contribute to the overall improvement of service in the fish markets in Barbados and enhance the operations of fish vendors.”
Both BCEN and BARNUFO appreciated the engagement to resolve the matter and are confident that the proposed initiatives will auger well for consumers and fish vendors across Barbados.