|Some of the exhibitors and vendors attending the site visit in Queen’s Park. (BAS)|
Exhibitors taking part in this year’s Agrofest are being urged to see the exhibition as an opportunity to market their businesses instead of just a money-making event.
Co-ordinator Thedore Fraser made this suggestion yesterday, during a site visit for exhibitors in Queen’s Park, The City.
"Don’t just look at Agrofest as an event for you to come and make thousands of dollars over three days. Think of it as a marketing opportunity for you so that when you leave here, you leave a good impression on the persons who come and visit your booth and support you in buying your plants, craft or your food. So, I urge you to make a good impression and keep your booths tidy at all times," he told some of the 300 exhibitors who are expected to set up booths during the exhibition which takes place from February 22 – 24.
Mr. Fraser also reminded them that Agrofest was a "smoke-free" event and the sale of cigarettes during the exhibition was strictly prohibited. He further noted that anyone who "lit up" would be in contravention of the anti-smoking legislation which came into effect in October, 2010, since Queen’s Park was a public space.
"So, that means those vendors who are accustomed [to] selling cigarettes, you are no longer allowed to sell those things. If you are caught with them, they can be confiscated and we can, within our rights, evict you. However, we do not want to go to such measures," he said.
Mr. Fraser also briefed the exhibitors on what was required for the successful staging of the show. This included them entering the Park from as early as 6:00 a.m. but no later than 9:00 a.m. to set up each day before the gates opened to the public at 10:00 a.m.; and not removing tents, tables or chairs during the show without the permission of the Show Manager. He further stated that vendors cooking food on open flames should have a working fire extinguisher on site at all times.
In addition, food vendors should have their Temporary Restaurant Licence and health certificates for all workers in place and in their booths at all times. On the same token, those selling alcoholic beverages need a liquor licence, Temporary Restaurant Licence and health certificates.
Mr. Fraser also emphasised that all tents must be in place by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, in order to have electrical wiring installed and completed by the next day. On the last day of Agrofest, exhibitors are not allowed to move any tents, tables or chairs before 6:00 a.m. Monday, February 25, he added.
The Co-ordinator said security would also be cracking down on "poachers" or illegal vendors which proved to be an issue last year. Inspector Peter Gibson of the Royal Barbados Police Force, also warned vendors about selling ???cap’ guns. He said they would be confiscated if seen by any member of the Force or security team.
Exhibitors were also reminded by Senior Environmental Health Officer, Colin Browne, that a "zero tolerance" would be adopted when it came to food safety.
"…In one case, we actually stopped people from preparing food because the stalls were in a state. We really don’t want anyone getting sick. When my officers come around and advise you to do certain things, please co-operate. The whole idea is to protect the health of everybody," he said.