Panic Poultry Purchasing20 February 2009
BAHRAIN - Consumers panic buying of poultry is being blamed on the current shortages. A strike of fishermen started six days ago.
With fish already off the menu in thousands of homes as a result of a nationwide strike, shoppers are hoarding chicken over fears of a poultry shortage, reports Gulf Daily News.
The result is an artificial poultry shortage in the supermarkets, even though Bahrain's largest supplier insists there is enough for everyone.
Delmon Poultry Company is supplying the market with 25 tonnes of chicken a day, but sales supervisor Abdul Hadi said its products were flying of the shelves as soon as they arrived in stores.
The company will even open today to cope with the increased demand, even though it normally closes on Fridays.
"There is a critical shortage of fish and people are turning to chicken, so we have produced more than usual for the last few days," he told Gulf Daily News. "However, a shortage appears to have been created because the chicken is being hoarded. We have reports that some customers are taking away cartons of chicken when they actually do not need that much. The fear is that, like fish, chicken might also disappear, so people take whatever they can lay their hands on."
Mr Hadi urged supermarkets to introduce their own controls to ensure their stocks do not run out prematurely.
"While the fish crisis lasts, supermarkets should have some control," he added.
He also reassured shoppers that with six different brands of fresh poultry in the market, there was no need to panic.
"We hope that by tomorrow supplies will be normal, but people should stop buying in panic," he said.
Supermarkets also reported no problems in the supply of chicken, but said they were hoping for an end to a nationwide strike by Bahraini fishermen, which started on 15 February.
"There is no fish, but plenty of chicken supplies exist," said a spokesman for Lulu Hypermarkets. "We are selling as usual."
Jawad Supermarket butchery department head, Agnelo Fernandes, said his company was relying on fish imports from Saudi Arabia. "It is not enough, but we do have it," he said. However, he admitted that suppliers were initially unable to cope with the increase in demand for chicken.
"The situation is getting better with promises of more supplies by today," he said.
An Al Jazeera Supermarkets spokesman said the company was waiting for the fishermen's strike to end to restock its fish, concludes the Gulf Daily News article.