Market vendors are concerned that they won’t be able to meet high transportation and fuel costs if they sell their produces according to the prices set by the Port Vila City Council (PVCC), and the Price Monitoring and Consumer Affairs (PMCA) bureau.

These tables are expected to be empty next week if transport fares are not met after the implementation of the Price Monitoring and Consumer Affair Food Scale initiative, they said.

The market vendors made this remark at the Central Market house down town in Port Vila yesterday, after the Launching of Food Scale and new market house Tables by PVCC and PMCA.

They claimed that they normally spend VT1,000 and not VT300 each day on transport to get to the market and back home.

They further expressed that although they are happy with the use of scale, they are unsure whether they will be able to meet these costs.

“We are asking if the municipal could assist us in some of our concerns until we recover from the two Tropical Cyclones that have recently hit us,” said one of the vendors.

“Most of what we have been selling since the cyclones are just greens as most of the root crops have been severely damages in the cyclones.

“And by selling at the set prices, we believe we won’t be able to meet the transport and fuel costs.”

She stated that if nothing is done by the authorities in regards to their concerns, she doubts the market will be fully packed on Monday.

The vendors urged the leaders present during the launching yesterday to assist them in finding solutions to solve this arising issue.

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PMCA, Mr. Serge Salwai, the market vendors who had attended the price control training at the beginning of this month were advised to file a collective complain to the authority concern which is the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding the high transportation costs.

As in respect to the jurisdiction, transportation fees are dealt with by a different department and not PMCA, he said.

The Acting CEO relayed that the full month of July is a trial month where the PVCC and PCMA will work closely with the vendors to monitor the progress of this new initiative.

“If we learn that some prices need to be lowered or increased, we will do so, as we want this to be a successful and beneficial initiative,” he said.

Mr. Salwai explained that PMCA had developed the scale prices based on key factors such as ‘Market vendors’ expenses beginning from when they harvest their crops, this includes the transport fees, and costs that they will have to meet at the market, such as the table fees.

“Upon totalling these expenses together, a mark-up fee is then added from calculating the nutritional value of the crops, its commercial value, and its customary value.”

The use of scale will be effective as of next week, Monday the 3rd of July, at the Central Market House downtown, and Sea Side Market house.