Pork and Poultry Meat Supplies Likely to be Tight

PHILIPPINES - Meat processors are warning of a shortage of pork and poultry meat for Christmas and high prices in the New Year, blaming the agriculture department for not issuing sufficient import permits.
calendar icon 23 November 2011
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Meat processors have warned of pork and chicken supply shortage in the coming holiday season due to the government's non-issuance of permits to import pork parts and chicken leg quarters, according to ABS-CBN News.

Francisco Buencamino, executive director of Philippine Association of Meat Processors, and Jesus Cham, president of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, complained that the Department of Agriculture (DA) has not released all import clearances for pork and chicken since 3 November.

The two said the department's action has compromised the supply of meat products for the Christmas season.

While the two admitted that the DA's move will help local farmers increase the price of local produce, they said it will have an impact on processors who make ham, chicharon, canned meat like meat loaf and luncheon meat, and hot dogs that are usually given out and served during holiday celebrations.

They said the non-issuance of permits will also affect the supply of chicken leg quarters, laman loob, liempo and other choice parts.

Mr Cham said supply will tighten if manufacturers compete with ordinary consumers in getting the produce of local pig farmers, eventually leading to a spike in pork and chicken prices.

With the delay in the issuance of import permits, Mr Cham said a meat shortage as well as a five to 10 per cent increase in prices of products with imported meat components will be experienced by January next year.

According to ABS-CBN News, Mr Buencamino called on Agriculture Secretary, Proceso Alcala, to reconsider its decision and realise that the government also needs to protect consumers, not just farmers.

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