Published On: Tue, Feb 11th, 2014

Yucatecan vendors excluded from Slow Food Market Merida

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A new alternative food market initiative is now under revision by Subdireccion de Mercados of Merida´s Cityhall due to complaints from local growers and producers that claim to be denied the right of commercializing their products on the venue known as “Slow Food Market”, according to sources of this editorial house.  TYT tried to contact the local Slow Food representatives, calling a number found on their Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mercado-Fresco-de-Slow-Food-Yucatan/147407541991841?fref=ts

and spoke to a gentleman named David who commented he no longer has anything to do with the project. Since we had no further information, we went into this site http://www.earthmarkets.net/pagine/eng/pagina.lasso?-id_pg=9 from where we gathered the following description>

Slow Food Market Merida

Slow Food Market Merida

“The Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable”. It is also mentioned that at this point in time, The Slow Food have over 100,000 members involved in over 150 countries”.

What originaly started as an article regarding the allegedly new market, turned into an interesting situation since we contacted the people who felt leftout from the possibility of commercializing their products.

The requirements to sell a product considered to be a Slow Food option are>

  •          Food product
  •          Locally grown
  •          Locally made
Slow Food Market Merida

Slow Food Market Merida

Local producer Ricardo Cruz that generates homemade organic granola and Alberto Caballero an organic goat cheese producer among other locals, were rejected after trying to sell their products in such location even though their merchandise fulfills the requirements.

The Yucatan Times interviewed Ricardo Cruz to hear about such allegations and he said the following: “On Saturday February the first, I went down to the Slow Food Market with the intention of selling my granola product and I started offering it to venders and buyers alike when suddenly I was approached by one of the organizers who told me I was not allowed to sell my product since I had no permission from The Slow Food Market Merida Committee. I asked how it is that I can get such, the answer was that I had to apply and this would go thru a committee that would review my application and give me an answer”. And the answer was:

“Hola Ricardo. No tenemos espacio disponible para nuevos vendedores. Las solicitudes quedan cerradas hasta que tengamos gente que salga o habilitemos nuevos espacios. Si quieres darte una vuelta en unos meses para que veamos como va la cosa.

Un saludo

Aliza Mizrahi

(English literal translation)

Hi Ricardo. We have no space available for new vendors. Applications are closed until we have people who quit or we have new spaces. If you want, comeback in a few months to see how it goes.

Regards

Aliza Mizrahi

The Yucatan Times requested a meeting with the Subdirector of Mercados Ing. José E. Collado Soberanis to find out what is the current status of “The Slow Food Market Merida”, if they are allowed to actually provide permits to people interested on selling their goods, and what is the new food market project about and where it would be located.

Ing. José Collado Soberanis

Ing. José Collado Soberanis

Another question we would like to ask Mr. Collado after reviewing the local market regulation is who would be the proper authority to either grant or deny such permits since the “Reglamento de Mercados del Municipio de Mérida” (Market Regulation of the Municipality of Mérida) in Article 19th claims: “The Municipality of Merida will grant permits, prior authorization from the competent authority, for conducting activities of sale of legal goods in markets and public roads, except for explosives, fuel, corrosive, or any other product of dangerous nature that could jeopardize health, safety and/or physical integrity of persons or property”.

What makes us come to the question of who is the competent authority in this specific case, since there is a general unease from this mayan/yucatecan producers that during the interview complained on the fact that this market only accepts foreigners.

Since we have not been able to reach anyone at the Slow Food Market Merida, The Yucatan Times opens an invitation to the Board to present their point of view regarding this situation.

Comments below

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  1. The Board of Directors of Slow Food Yucatán, and the organizers of the Mercado Fresco de Slow Food can speak for themselves and address the biased and uninformed comments presented here. I am the original founder of Slow Food Yucatán, and while I am no longer on the Board of Directors at least I have the bravery and courage to present my face and my name here. Who are you? Who wrote this very negative and ill-informed piece? Show your face! Let us know who you are so that we can speak directly as humans and adults. Only cowards and people who want to do harm behind a veil of lies will not post their identities on these public forums. Come out!

  2. Erick De Gorostegui says:

    Es una pena, que con una información tan vaga quieran desprestigiar a este mercado de productos, que como señalan más abajo, son difíciles de conseguir.
    Habló con un tal señor David, ¿David quién? Tan escasa fue la plática ¿que ni siquiera pudo ofrecer su apellido? Aparte de que si solo toman en cuenta la opinión de las personas que fueron rechazadas, es más que obvio que la opinión generalizada será de franca indignación.
    Y a fin de cuentas, la acusación por parte del señor Ricardo Cruz, fue más bien infantil; al no reconocer las francas limitaciones de este espacio. Recurriendo a llamar al ayuntamiento con el único fin de ¿echar abajo todo? O conseguir un permiso V.I.P. para la venta de sus productos. Otra cosa: es totalmente falso el hecho de que “solo se aceptan a extranjeros”. Gran parte de las personas que venden sus productos son de origen local, vendiendo productos que ellos mismos fabrican o cosechan. Y aunque es verdad que también hay vendedores de origen extranjero, no fueron seleccionados por esta cuestión.
    Me parece lamentable que quieran crear polémica de un capricho tan lamentable. Mencionando también la poca información que se tiene, así como parcial, de los hechos para publicar este artículo.

    Erick De Gorostegui

  3. Rosi says:

    Soy cliente del mercado, se que es un esfuerzo muy interesante para las personas que buscamos alimentos de mejor calidad, y que además tenemos la confianza con las personas que siembran y cosechan estos productos, debe de haber mucha gente interesada en vender cosas ahí, pero es obvio que no hay mucho espacio, ojalá que esto sirva para planear algo más grande, y que merida tenga como en muchas ciudades del mundo un gran mercado de alimentos organicos !!!! Aprovecho para felicitar a todos los vendedores de que cada sábado nos ofrecen tantas cosas buenas !!! Nota : tenga paciencia y pronto tendrá un espacio !!!

  4. Astrid says:

    I would think that the reason that Yucatacans (locals) are not being invited to join them is because their prices would not be as high as the ‘ex-pat’ prices and they would have to reduce their own prices therefore reducing their
    profit margins!
    The Yucatan is well known for its fresh fruit, produce and food stuffs. It is EXTREMELY shameful that there hasn’t been a place made for locals growers and producers, when a place was made for these ex-pats!!
    Maybe, the ‘Yucatacan locals’ should band together and open their own fresh market and compete with this group!!!!
    Competition would be a good thing for everyone especially those of us who cannot afford these ‘gringo’ prices!!!
    I wish the Yucatacans much luck and much success if and when they do decide to band together, and I would be most happy to be one of their loyal customers!!

    • Astrid, your anger toward “ex-pats” is obvious, but sad. Did they (we) ever do anything to harm you? Would you rather we all “just go back where we came from”? That would be sad for Mérida, since most of the rescue of the beautiful colonial homes has been done by your loathed “ex-pats”. Further, you make a statement that shows unawareness of local production as well as the market’s goals: (1) the market is based NOT just on local products, but rather on organic products; (2) the production of organic products in Yucatán is almost non-existent, unfortunately. The rareness of these products explains their higher price, not because they are being sold to “ex-pats.” Finally, you are quite wrong that there is no place for local growers and producers: have you never been to Lucas de Gálvez?

  5. Gary says:

    I have never been to the Slow food market, but if it is true that there are no Mexican Vendors then SHAME ON YOU!!
    We as expats are not here to take business from hard working farmers, but instead we should invite them to sell there products side by side with all vendors. The slow food market has a great reputation, lets not spoil it with bickering and blaming the messenger for bring this problem to the public.
    If you Invite these farmers to join your market, you may learn something from there hundreds of years of farming experience and Mayan traditions.

    I wish you luck in solving this simple problem, and i feel if you sit back and think about it you will invite them to join you with open arms.

    • Gary, it’s kind of embarrassing that you make rash claims about this theme and utter “SHAME” when in your very first phrase you admit that you have never been to the market. Wouldn’t you rather educate yourself first before getting involved in the polemics? Go to the market some Saturday and you will see that more than half (probably more like 2/3) of the vendors are Yucatecan or Mexican. Happy shopping!

      • gary says:

        David, I really think you should learn to read, i clearly stated that if this is true, please read before you comment as you just show your bias with your comment.

        I was offering suggestions and reasons to include them , so all can learn from each other

        You seem to be a very angry person, my comments were not negative, i am truly sorry that you seem to feel that anyone who does not totally agree with you are wrong.

        Good luck to the slow market !

  6. Trina says:

    I find it interesting that whoever wrote the article didn’t at least check out the Slowfood market on a Saturday. One of the organizers is always there. That’s just poor journalism. If you went, you would find a vibrant, bustling market with both local Yucatecan vendors and expats who have made Merida their home. I have been shopping there for several years and have seen it grow from just a few vendors to many. In addition, the shoppers are a mix of locals and expats. The letter to the one gentlemen who was denied access was that they have no more room. It is crowded and they are at capacity. Someone responded that it would be great if local vendors opened up their own market and gave the Slowfood market some competition …..I agree and so would the Slowfood organizers. The goal of the Slow Food movement is to give everyone access to good fresh food. The more markets the better. The organizers would probably help you set up a new market. Before the rush to judgement, go and speak to the vendors and see who is there.

  7. Es una tristeza que se pongan hablar y a criticar por un berrinche, soy vendedora del slow food market desde hace dos años y soy yucateca, somos más de la mitad yucatecos que vendemos ahí, si más no recuerdo este señor de la granola llego de una manera prepotente y como podrá haber visto ya hay dos personas vendiendo granola, a cualquier lugar que vayas necesitas de un permiso de los organizadores para vender hasta los pintores del parque de la madre no pueden solo llegar y ponerse a vender, este tipo de gente como el vendedor de la granola y la persona que hizo este reportaje son los que dañan los esfuerzos de muchas personas que producimos nuestros alimentos por un solo berrinche y su gran ignorancia, que lastima que exista gente así

  8. Slow Food antes que nada es una forma de vida, un lugar para convivir con alegría y camaradería, proponemos cada sábado una celebración a la comida lenta, contra parte del fast food, comer y probar productos sanos, frescos y novedosos que muchas veces no encontramos en los supermercados, es un gran esfuerzo de los organizadores productores y fundadores de este movimiento, la gente que nos visita cada sábado crea un lazo de amistad y confianza con los vendedores, pregunta acerca del producto y con gusto se informa de los métodos usados en su elaboración o producción por lo que resulta además una experiencia de aprendizaje mutuo. Slow Food es también un punto de encuentro para mucha gente que comparte gustos y una forma de vida consciente, es por eso que me parece muy mal este artículo, en esta pequeña pero nutrida comunidad, nos rige el respeto y la admiración mutua, todos nos saludamos y ayudamos. Este señor como muchos llegan exigiendo un espacio para vender determinado producto, pero esta comunidad está perfectamente bien planeada para que todos los vendedores tengan un espacio dentro del mercado, podríamos llamarle secciones, por regla se llegó al acuerdo de que no pueden haber más de 2 puestos que ofrezcan el mismo producto, regla que hace diversa la oferta y sustentable para el productor vendedor , así que señor de la granola, usted disculpe, pero no está descubriendo nada nuevo, hay más de 3 personas que ofrecen gramolas de 1a calidad y hay mucha gente en espera de un espacio, además existen cerca de 5 mercados similares, y en todos existe una organización con reglas, lo invito a llegar a cualquier mercado a exigir como usted exige, no es correcta su postura y menos su reacción infantil, tal vez señor usted lo vea como una buena forma de ganar unos pesos, pero estos movimientos, tienen más que ver con una nueva conciencia, no menosprecie de forma tan burda el esfuerzo de tantas familias locales y extranjeras que disfrutamos de producir y llevar productos sanos a las mesas de muchos amigos que nos apoyan consumiendo lo que con amor sembramos y con talento preparamos. Yo y muchos otros esperamos algún tiempo para entrar, ya que tuvimos que pasar por el proceso de admisión. Alguien por aquí menciono que son precios de gringo, y no, la verdad es que es duro producir sobre todo cuando las producciones no son estimuladas artificialmente, ni son grandes producciones, aquí cuenta más la calidad que la cantidad, los precios son justos y la gente conciente entiende esto. Saludos y que mal que usen este medio de comunicación para desacreditar, soy fan del Yucatán Times, gran publicación.

  9. y señor Ricardo y periodista esta mal su pagina del Slow food esa no es su pagina oficial, para que vea como sus mentiras y su ignorancia los delatan, ni siquiera se pusieron a investigar bien, aqui les dejo la pagina oficial y antes de publicar algo señor periodista primero verifique su informaciòn que por lo visto deja mucho que desear su trabajo //www.facebook.com/pages/Slow-Food-Yucatan/368398226531989

  10. Hola Slow Food Vendoors – Donde puedo ver una lista completa de los vendedores. Estoy en Cancun y quiero ver si vale la pena ir para alla ! Busco alimentos no preparadas !

    Granos, Kefir, Kombucha, moras, almendras crudas, plantas etc.

    Provecho !

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