In order to ensure the health and safety of the general public, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) announced yesterday that it will be closing the Potter’s Cay Produce Exchange, relocating its staff, and renovating the building.
BAIC explained that the Produce Exchange has been in a state of disrepair for eight years and has become a health and safety concern.
According to BAIC, the board of directors are currently looking for a location to temporarily relocate the Produce Exchange and its employees.
“The board is quite aware that the Produce Exchange has been in a state of disrepair for almost eight years and thanks the staff for their enduring patience,” BAIC said in a statement.
“In the meantime, plans are being made for the Produce Exchange at Potter’s Cay Dock to undergo massive renovations to restore the facility to an acceptable standard to accommodate the staff members and patrons.
“The Produce Exchange is a major player in the fresh produce industry and towards that end, the board of directors at BAIC would like to inform employees at the Produce Exchange at Potter’s Cay Dock, farmers, customers and the general public that because of the concern for the health of employees, the safety and welfare of the general public, efforts are being made to temporarily relocate the operations of the Produce Exchange at Potter’s Cay Dock for a wonderful shopping experience for all.”
BAIC’s statement explained that it is responsible for the produce packing houses on Cat Island, Exuma, Eleuthera, Long Island, North Andros and New Providence.
“The national Produce Exchange on Potter’s Cay Dock serves as a central collection point and distribution center to assist registered farmers from the family islands with marketing of their fresh agricultural products,” the statement said.
One Potter’s Cay vendor who did not want to be named told Guardian Business yesterday that vendors use the exchange often to purchase their produce because it is the most inexpensive place to shop.
He added that the fruit vendors could be challenged by the move as they simply bought from the exchange and sold on the dock. Now, he said, they might be inconvenienced by the move.