This one is about im­port­ing poul­try and danc­ing ca­lypso ... en­joy!:

Jamaica Gleaner - - FINANCIAL GLEANER - AVIA COLLINDER Busi­ness Reporter

ALOBBY group rep­re­sent­ing Amer­i­can broiler com­pa­nies is push­ing Ja­maicans to buy more poul­try and eggs from the United States, but the agri­cul­ture min­istry is not keen on the pitch, say­ing Ja­maica is al­ready self­suf­fi­cient in those prod­ucts.

Their out­reach comes amid ris­ing con­cern from re­gional poul­try com­pa­nies about the pos­si­bil­ity of sub­stan­dard US poul­try prod­ucts en­ter­ing their mar­kets.

Still, the Amer­i­cans may find an open­ing for chicken necks and backs, de­mand for which, the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture & Fish­eries in­di­cated, is not fully sup­plied by lo­cal pro­duc­ers.

Oth­er­wise, no whole birds or parts were im­ported last year, the min­istry told the Fi­nan­cial Gleaner.

The USA Poul­try and Egg Coun­cil took out a full-page ad­ver­tise­ment tout­ing the mil­lions of tons of chicken, tur­key and duck, and bil­lions of eggs pro­duced by the US each year, the loving na­ture of their poul­try pro­duc­ers, and their tech­nol­ogy.

Leah Cochran Mulc­ahy, USA poul­try di­rec­tor for Latin Amer­ica & the Caribbean, did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment on the out­reach and tar­gets re­lated to the Ja­maican mar­ket.

The agri­cul­ture min­istry said via email that Ja­maica has been “self-suf­fi­cient in ta­ble eggs and chicken – with the ex­clu­sion of necks and backs – for sev­eral years”.

Last year, Ja­maica im­ported 21.3 mil­lion kilo­grammes of neck and backs only, val­ued at US$14.4 mil­lion. An undis­closed vol­ume of fer­tile eggs were im­ported, but for hatch­ing pur­poses only.

Lo­cal sources in the broiler in­dus­try said the Amer­i­can pro­duc­ers are hunt­ing a piece of the US$8-bil­lion re­gional mar­ket for poul­try and eggs in “their backyard”.

One in­dus­try mem­ber, who re­quested anonymity to speak frankly, said the lo­cal US trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive con­sid­ered it

What do they ex­pect us to do – im­port their foods and dance ca­lypso?

among his du­ties to press for more im­ports for the Amer­i­can poul­try sec­tor.

The per­son said, how­ever, that the US al­ready gets a lot of busi­ness from Ja­maica, while al­lud­ing to the cur­rent lobby efforts as a step too far.

“The US al­ready ben­e­fits from the Ja­maican poul­try in­dus­try, as 40 per cent of the pro­duc­tion in­puts, in­clud­ing feed, are sourced from the US,” said the per­son.

“They say they can pro­duce food cheaper be­cause of economies of scale. So what do they ex­pect us to do – im­port their foods and dance ca­lypso?”

Oth­er­wise, the Caribbean Poul­try As­so­ci­a­tion has pre­vi­ously raised con­cerns that US poul­try and poul­try prod­ucts do not con­form with the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for poul­try meat and feeds de­vel­oped by CROSQ, the Cari­com Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Stan­dards and Qual­ity.

The re­gional pro­duc­ers in­di­cated in April that they were in dis­cus­sion with the US Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture over adop­tion of the CROSQ stan­dards, in­clud­ing the la­belling of poul­try and poul­try prod­ucts with the date of slaugh­ter so that sub­stan­dard prod­ucts do not en­ter the re­gion.

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