Egg, meat sup­pli­ers ready for Christ­mas rus

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Tameka Gor­don Busi­ness Reporter tameka.gor­don@glean­erjm.com

JA­MAICAN CON­SUMERS will have more than ad­e­quate sup­plies of pork and eggs for the high-con­sump­tion Christ­mas pe­riod, producers say amid a boost in pro­duc­tion by both in­dus­tries. Pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Pig Farm­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, Hanif Brown, told Gleaner Busi­ness the as­so­ci­a­tion now has to be warn­ing its mem­bers against cre­at­ing a glut as pro­duc­tion was sig­nif­i­cantly ramped up go­ing into the sea­son.

“We are very much in high sup­ply, even to the point where we have to be cau­tion­ing farm­ers to make sure they don’t over sup­ply,” Brown said.

“Based on the feed­back from pro­ces­sors, they are get­ting more pigs than they need. All I can ask is that con­sumers eat more pork,” he said.

Egg producers are also sure of more than ad­e­quate sup­plies, ac­cord­ing Roy Baker, pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Egg Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (JEFA).

“For 2016, we are pro­ject­ing a pro­duc­tion that is the sec­ond high­est ever,” Baker said.

Com­pared to 2012 when the farm­ers de­liv­ered some 170 mil­lion eggs, the farm­ers ex­pect 167 mil­lion eggs for 2016.

CON­CERNS

Still, he is a bit con­cerned that Ja­maicans ap­pear to be con­sum­ing fewer eggs.

“We have had sub­stan­tial growth in the tourism in­dus­try but in our reg­u­lar mar­ket, there is no sub­stan­tial growth,” said the JEFA pres­i­dent.

The Get Crack­ing and Eat Eggs cam­paigns launched ear­lier this year have had lit­tle impact on lift­ing con­sumer appetite for the pro­tein, he added.

JEFA part­nered with Hi-Pro and the United States Soy­bean Ex­port Coun­cil on the cam­paigns in Au­gust to get Ja­maicans to eat more eggs.

But, “We are also con­clud­ing that there is no sig­nif­i­cant growth with con­sump­tion with the ex­cep­tion of the impact of the tourist in­dus­try,” Baker said.

Sim­i­larly, Downie Walker, agri­cul­tur­al­ist and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pool of poul­try farm­ers con­tracted to Ja­maica Broil­ers Group, said con­sumers will have am­ple sup­plies of poul­try.

“There will be no need to im­port any pork. Chicken and eggs will also be in ad­e­quate sup­ply,” Walker said, while laud­ing the plan to re­move gen­eral con­sump­tion tax from agri­cul­tural in­puts.

Pork pro­duc­tion is re­cov­er­ing from a slump, which up to last year, saw pro­ces­sors clam­ber­ing for the re­lax­ation of im­port rules to al­low them to meet the de­mand with the egg producers also re­cov­er­ing from a sim­i­lar short­age of the pro­tein, a spillover from 2013.

FILE

Or­ganic eggs

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