June 24, 2008
Hong Kong poultry traders divided on compensation package
Hong Kong's poultry sector remains split over the government compensation package with wholesalers, transporters and farmers refusing to close down.
Steven Wong Wai-chuen, Hong Kong Poultry Wholesalers and Retailers chairman, said that most retailers were now willing to scale down their proposed demand, which is 10 times the 2005 voluntary surrender scheme.
The government is offering compensation between HKD1 million to HKD15 million depending on which sector of the poultry industry is involved.
Some in the trade were willing to give up their licenses believing that the industry would disappear with the setting up of central slaughtering in 2011.
Wai-chuen said if the sector does not accept the offer, the next compensation package may be even worse.
However, poultry transporters, wholesalers and chicken farmers preferred to continue working.
A source said retailers who wanted to close their businesses were in the minority.
Kowloon Poultry Transporter and Poulterer Association chairman Wong Tak-leung said most of the transporters are in their 50s and are too old to switch jobs.
US$1 = HKD7.81 as of June 24, 2008