Trinidad and Tobago we have a problem.
Royal Castle has run out of its famous pepper sauce.
And the problem may continue until the end of October.
This was revealed by Royal Castle Ltd's managing director Sandy Roopchand during a telephone interview with Guardian Media today.
Roopchand said Royal Castle has not been getting the quantity of peppers it requires to be able to make its iconic pepper sauce.
But the problem is not only limited to Royal Castle, Roopchand said.
Other pepper sauce producers are also not getting peppers she said.
"It is a huge problem in the country right now. We are trying our best to get peppers and reaching out to farmers. It is difficult at this point in time," she said.
Roopchand said the closures of restaurants as a result of COVID lockdowns as well as recent flooding have both exacerbated the problem.
"It is really bad. I think the flooding caused a lot of it. Also when the restaurants were locked down a lot of the farmers did not plant because when they planted for the first lock down no body bought because the restaurants were still closed," Roopchand said.
"During the second lockdown they did not plant," she said.
Roopchand said peppers take about three months to grow.
The limited quantity of peppers Royal Castle has been getting so far is being used for marinade instead of the making of pepper sauce, Roopchand said.
"It is not just Royal Castle it is all over but because we make our own pepper sauce and sell in the stores, we don't buy, people know it is an issue. But it is a problem," Roopchand said.
"Our farmers have guaranteed that by the end of October, the first week in November I should be able to get a regular supply," she said.
Roopchand said it is not that Royal Castle does not want to buy peppers they are just not getting the supply required.
"Right now we are actually standing up in the market trying to get our supply," Roopchand said.
"If there are farmers out there who want to supply us then by all means you can come and offer us your goods," she said.
Roopchand offered an apology to all of Royal Castle's customers.
"We are apologising to the customers and as soon as we start getting a supply we will start producing more pepper," she said.