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Vendors Defend Fresh Coconut Price Hike


Coconut vendors have blamed the fresh coconut price hike on the escalating price of other commodities.

Elijah, who has been in the business for the past twenty years, explained that the cost of inputs has risen.

“Farmers spend more on fertiliser. The workers want an increase in wages,” Elijah, whom people also know as ‘Pure Nuts’ told St. Lucia Times.

He also explained that vendors have to pay the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) more, currently forty dollars daily, in rent for the spot near the Castries market where they sell the coconuts except on holidays and Sundays.

“Everything going up – the price of the bottles, so that’s why we decide to increase the price of the coconuts,” Elijah stated.

The vendors currently sell a fresh coconut for $2.50, whereas a large bottle of coconut water costs $12 and a small one $6.

Elijah said he does not own a coconut plantation but buys from farmers who also want a pay hike.

“It’s all across the board, not just us,” he asserted.

“Sometimes we reach as far as Mahaut, that’s in Micoud, to get coconuts. So sometimes just to get the coconuts here we use $100 gas and in a day we have four fellows at the farm and three at the market. So that’s seven guys working during the day. We have to pay everybody, plus the farmer,” the vendor told St. Lucia Times.

Elijah said although some farmers sell their produce themselves, they only do so occasionally.

On the other hand, he explained that he and others do so every day.

“The last time we had the increase for the coconut, we had it like close to fifteen years or thereabouts and kept that down from that time. That’s why we decide to implement the increase,” Elijah recalled.

He noted that the price hike resulted from consultation among some vendors, some of whom have decided to hold back in an apparent attempt to win over customers.

According to Elijah, on average, he would sell 400 coconuts daily.

Regarding the customer’s reaction to the $2.50 price, he estimated that his sales had dropped by about ten percent.

Mayo Clinic describes coconut water as a type of juice.

But its official website said that, unlike other juices, unflavored coconut water is low in sugar and calories.

Coconut water has electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium and manganese.

According to Mayo Clinic, it also contains 45 to 60 calories in an 8-ounce serving.

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  1. Questions .Does the Ministry of Health/Death check the Vendors for Health Medical Certificates and The Quality of the Coconut water that’s Bottled. Does Bureau of Standard Check the Quality of the Plaatic Bottle.Who Checks the Quality of the Coconuts before its Bottled .?????????????????

  2. Fertiiser? For coconuts? Dude really? When last you see a farmer put any inputs in a coconut tree. Just plant and let it do it’s thing. Thankfully they still have vendors selling at $2.00. They sell out much more quickly these days.

  3. wow if this guy sells 400 nuts on a daily basis thats like five grand at the end of the week so mate making almost 20 grand at the end of the month. nah i need to go and sell coconuts and mind you elijah went to very good school and went up the morne. he have all that education and is coconuts he selling its so hard to get a good job that actually pays well

  4. There will be a chain reaction. What will now be the price at the supermarkes after their markup.

  5. @Ma Malay. What are you insinuating? Isn’t it a job that Elisha have? So, just because it is hard work, Elisha should not be engaged in that work? I’m pretty sure Elisha does not want you talking for him and I believe he is satisfied with what he is doing instead of being “on the block” doing absolutely nothing and asking “goverman” (in Chas voice) for a handout. Good for you Elisha!

  6. A coconut vendors association should be formed to establish standards among coconut vendors. Coconut vendors should be trained on proper sanization methods .

  7. after all these calculations u saying its so hard to get a job that actually pays well? how many of us make almost 20 grand a month or even $2000 a week? smh

  8. I totally agree that prices are high and going higher. This gentleman stated that the price was last set fifteen years ago. That is not true. Coconuts were raised from one dollar to one dollar and fifty cents then recently to two dollars and now two dollars and fifty cents. Wah! Fertiliser? I have never seen a farmer Fertilised coconut trees. I believe if these vendors want a better return they should not be misleading customs with all mistrust and just come out and say what is going on in their lives. For me this is getting out of hand. For me if I go to buy a coconut and the price is given is either I leave it or take it. Take it when my pocket is very large which is hardly ever.

  9. @ The Crow, Actually I was not insinuating anything, you are the one making your own insinuations, I was just astonished as to how much a coconut vendor can make and how easy and fast it is to make money as opposed to someone who is well educated and trying to find a good job and you have to go through all these hoops to actually get a job unless someone knows your aunty and godfather and what not. You can become a coconut vendor in five mins and start to make good money

  10. Mama lay fir goodness sake ,not all vendors making five grand a week papa. The guy said he goes all the way to Mahaut to buy coconuts, he said he has 7 guys paying etc all that fell on death ears.
    Man, if you do not wait to buy coconuts just don’t. Or go climb a tree!
    At least you know Elijah….all these faceless owners of Massy raising prices by the hour we not crying foul.

  11. @vanguard u said it all…even massy selling coconut waterw at gorging prices..lucians just like dat,never want to see the common man move foward….them old ICY already selling $3.00…zort juror bien

  12. He has costs to cover – that income is not profit only. Why don’t people in St Lucia read properly before always jumping to absurd conclusions!

  13. Rats carry deadly diseases. Rats and opossums are all over those nuts in the trees. Are they and the hands who handle them even washed before handling them ? When will anything including prices be effectively regulated on island. In my view, the coconut tree climbers and not the sellers, should benefit more in this business. Sellers only sell but climbers face all the dangers. Many have died climbing.

  14. For those of us who did Maths at school do know that 400 x 5 is equal to 2000.00. You all checking like the politicians when they giving estimates of expenditure. That’s $8000.00 a month which is quite a figure then we calculate the expenses which incurred then we net . Now we know how much he is earning . Let’s be realistic the last time I bought coconuts home was $1.50 and that was 5 years ago so to say 15 years is misleading. I can accept another reason not that .have a great day 😎😎

  15. May of last year I refused to pay $5,USD for one coconut In Jamaica. Instead, I bought a canned one which cost $1, Jamaica funds. So Please, Lucians, stop complaining about a $2.50 EC coconut. How much do you pay for sugary drink that has no food value? I bet you that it’s more than $2.50. I wish that I could drink one right now.

  16. For those of us who were actually attentive in our maths class, shouldn’t it be 400 coconuts × $2 or $2.50 × 5 days (if not 7) × 4 weeks? Good thing coconuts aren’t algebra.


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