Osvaldo assures us that selling cheap people can make good profits
Osvaldo Pérez Rojas is 48 and shows two titles of completed studies: one on veterinary and other on cuisine. But Osvaldo is a peasant, and lives on and for the soil; and with his truck he carries the products to El Trigal, wholesaling market located on the outskirts of Havana.
On the so-called “intermediaries” the major questions loom today in the sale of food, being considered critical in the rise of prices. Osvaldo is one of them and tells us his truth.
“The merchandise I take belong to the farmers in my CCS (Cooperative of Credit and Services) and of course my farm. Each small farmer has surplus production after fulfilling his contract with Acopio and is free to be sold on supply and demand markets. That surplus I buy from any peasant, although I must prioritize my cooperative partners, and in those cases I give 50 % of profit to the CCS. “
Valdito, as he is knows, explains that once the truck is loaded, he drives it to El Trigal, where a there is a line to download in order of arrival. The arrival time is always after noon and market entry is for the next morning.
Hundreds of carriers bring food from the countryside to the city.
“Normally the check in time is at 10:00 am, but there are days like Fridays, when there is more demand, we enter 7:00 am to advance the work, although sales begin at least two hours later” he says.
Within the market, each truck has the right to sell on a platform leased to the premises management, “we pay 125 pesos and so you secure a place in the market. The issue of the barrows is different, you can rent one, there is a $ 5 an hour fee, but if you bring one of your workers who have a small farmer card he can move products across the site. “
Is there any regulation there for the price?
“No, there’s no ceiling in El Trigal; it is free supply and demand. And everything is decided according to the time of year and the prices that are running at that time. “
So why do people go there to do home shopping?
“That’s because the in the market prices are much lower than in the street. For example within there a pound of black beans costs 8.50 a pound, and it costs up to 14 in the street.
“Also, there you can find things that are not seen on the street or are extremely expensive. That’s why three or four neighbors do the weekly shopping because it is much cheaper than in the street and that when it leaves the market prices go up and that is what people see”.
And selling at those prices is the truck profitable for you?
Yes. Think that we buy the plantain in the field at $ 1.50 or $ 1.55, and we sell it in the market at $ 1.70. Sure, I always take several products each giving different margins.
“But I take that gain against expenses, oil prices, repairs and labor for loading. Even so it is a profitable business. So how is for those who go to El Trigal and then sell in squares? When you see the prices on the street you realize that the profits of these intermediaries are more than the peasant and the carrier of products to Havana.