PRODUCERS REASSURE PUBLIC

‘Enough pork, chicken for Christmas’

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The country’s biggest organization of hog raisers and poultry producers on Thursday reassured the public that they can meet an expected spike in demand for chicken and pork products during the Christmas season.

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In an interview on the sidelines of the 21st Agrilink, Foodlink and Aqualink in Pasay City, officials of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) and the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (ProPork) said that they have ample supply of pork and chicken meat to last until the end of the Christmas holidays.

UBRA President Jose Elias Inciong said that they have already placed orders for 5 million kilos of chicken leg quarters to ensure a stable supply of chicken meat if the demand starts to pick up in the coming weeks.

“The Department of Agriculture (DA) allowed the private sector to import the volume to ensure a stable supply of the commodity,” Inciong said, adding that they expect the shipment to arrive in late November or early December.

He also said that they see no major problem with domestic production in the coming months. However, he said that price movements are expected.

“The supply is there but in terms of prices, we will see. Normally when you are in the ‘ber months’ prices increase because there is an increase in demand. However, I think the price should not be more than the suggested retail price,” Inciong said.

At present, the farmgate price of chicken is at P90 to P94 per kilo while the prevailing retail price ranges from P130 to P150 per kilo.

Meanwhile, ProPork President Edwin Chen said there is no need for the hog industry to import additional volume of pork products, saying that they have enough supply that can stretch beyond the holiday season.

As of September 29, Chen said the country has a total inventory of 12 million kilos of frozen pork.

ProPork is calling for a stricter implementation of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) suggested retail price (SRP) for pork.

“The SRP is still loosely implemented. DTI and DA should give the implementing rules and guidelines. In some areas, pork prices are already below the SRP while in some areas pork prices remain high,” Chen said.

On Wednesday, the DA warned that it would cancel the business permits issued to traders and retailers who violate the suggested retail price of fresh pork and chicken.

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