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Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac, President of the Saint Lucia Craft and Dry Goods Vendors Association, has said that despite the ‘hype and hullabaloo’ as well as political interference preceding the recent meeting that reelected him he was not intimidated by his detractors.
“I am vindicated,” Isaac declared regarding his association’s bi-annual meeting on July 31.
He welcomed the election of Paula Thomas, the first woman to serve as Vice President.
“I am very elated about this whole thing. The people have put their confidence in me and with all the talk that is going around in terms of my tenure as President of the association, it has spoken for itself,” Isaac told reporters on Wednesday.
He declared that his reelection should prove that the people have seen his work and what he put in place for vendors is in their best interests.
Nevertheless, the Vendors Association President who has served in the position for over two decades, acknowledged the need for transition.
“Right now we have to be able to find a suitable replacement for me to continue,” he explained.
According to Isaac, the association’s work is ongoing.
He recalled that the theme for the bi-annual general meeting pertained to embracing the digital global economy.
“We need to get vendors in that direction where you need to realise that the world is changing and it’s plastic that will be dominating the market in terms of money and not the currency that we are used to,” Isaac told reporters.
He also noted that vendors in the provisions market need to understand that they are losing money selling produce by heaps because supermarkets and other outlets sell according to kilos.
“Someone can go to the supermarket and buy one banana, two bananas, one little dasheen – one potato. They weigh it, they pay for it and they’re gone,” he asserted.
Isaac said his association wants to ensure that vendors get digital skills and move into ‘higher gear’,
He also spoke of the need for unity because there’s strength in numbers.
In this regard, Isaac observed that vendors do not have the clout of other organisations in the formal business sector.
But he indicated that unity would give the organisation a stronger voice.