Vendors at the Port Vila Municipal Market are raising worries about the newly introduced electronic scales, which have been used at the main market since Tuesday, 2ndof January, 2024.

They are expressing concerns that the prices set per kilo by the Price Monitoring and Consumer Affairs (PMCA) and the Port Vila City Council (PVCC) are higher than what they usually charge without using these scales.

Their main concern stems from customers complaining about the increased prices since yesterday morning.

Additionally, vendors fear that these higher prices might lead to unsold produce, causing financial losses due to transportation costs and potential spoilage.

Vendors feel there is a communication gap between management and themselves, which makes them hesitant to sell at their usual lower prices, and are urging for a discussion panel involving PMCA, PVCC, and vendors to find a solution.

One potential solution proposed by vendors is for PVCC to provide coolers or fridges where unsold produce could be stored overnight, keeping them fresh for the next day’s sale.

In an interview with the Vanuatu Daily Post, Market Manager Sacha Watt, clarified that while vendors are discouraged from surpassing set prices, they are allowed to sell at lower prices.

He acknowledged the challenges on the first day, but assured that PVCC and PMCA are committed to working with vendors to resolve arising issues from this new initiative.