St Helena Online

Tag: onions

Missing piece of paper that left island without onions

A lack of onions on St Helena has come about because paperwork was not handed over.

The port authority in Cape Town, Transnet, refused to let thousands of onions be loaded aboard the RMS St Helena.

The result, according to island retailer Nick Thorpe, was panic-buying in the shops as customers snapped up what few onions they could find.

No more will come until August, he said.

His agent in Cape Town has now told St Helena Online what happened.

He said: “A hundred and seventy bags of onions were booked for W.A. Thorpe on the RMS voyage 176.

“However, as the clearing and forwarding agent failed to submit the necessary shipping order to Transnet, they refused to load the cargo.

“The shipping order is a Transnet document which must be submitted for all bulk cargo being exported.”

Paperwork problem leaves St Helena crying out for onions

Paperwork problem leaves St Helena crying out for onions

A picture of an onion with "sold out" wriitten on it. (not a St Helena onion)St Helena is suffering an onion shortage.

St Helena Online understands that problems with paperwork in Cape Town meant only a small part of the intended order arrived on the last voyage of the RMS St Helena.

“The few that arrived were snapped up immediately,” according to Nick Thorpe, the island’s main independent retailer. “Panic buying cleared the shops.”

He added: “No more until August.”


My last month in St Helena blighted by a lack of onions! What will have in my toastie now? I’ve already had calls to see if I’ve got any in the cupboard.

– Suzie Pearson, St Helena
Three months on St Helena – blog

Funny that we often have this problem with fruit, onions, potatoes, etc. but never with beer or cigarettes…

John Turner, St Helena
Random Thoughts From Offshore – blog