Imports Threatening Local Poultry Industry?25 March 2013
BARBADOS - There is a concern that some international players, such as restaurants, who enter the local market would pose a threat to the local poultry industry if they import all of their produce.
According to The Barbados Advocate, CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), James Paul, spoke to the media after a Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association Seminar at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC).
“One of the concerns that we have in the industry at this point in time is in terms of the new players that enter in the industry, especially restaurants where their business model really is going to pose problems for the future as we proceed. We have a situation where in many cases the products that they are asking for from the poultry industry are not here,” Mr Paul said.
He stated that this problem could escalate further if action is not taken to address the situation as soon as possible.
“Remember that the market right now is very stressed for local poultry producers so if we have a situation where poultry really is being imported into the country that is competing with ocal poultry producers, I think that we are going to have a severe problem in which what we can see then is further contraction in the industry as a result of the entry of these new players so these are issues that we at the BAS are going to speak to the Government about and which we intend to try to see if we can have at least have a more level playing field introduced,” he stressed.
Mr Paul said that the local industry has the capacity and capability to supply these restaurants and other players, but they need the time to get the necessary financial, technical, human and other resources in place first.
“In many cases, it would mean additional investment on the part of the industry first of all and then new technology. The industry is not adverse to bringing in new investment or looking at new technology, but it is just that it has not being given first of all sufficient warning that this is what we expect and then sufficient enough time to prepare itself to acquire the new investment and technology and then to put it in place. So consequently, what I think is that a lot of them coming into the market with the intention of bringing in poultry into the country.”
The CEO added that this would call for these international players giving the local poultry industry more than a few months notice before entering the local market because this is not sufficient time for this industry to prepare resulting in these players having to bring in their products from overseas.
However, they are willing to sit down with these new players such as Burger King and Subway to work out mutually beneficial solutions, stated Paul.