November 18, 2003



Japan's Nippon Meat Packers Inc Claim To Suffer From Plunge in Beef & Pork Prices


Nippon Meat Packers Inc illegally got 28 million yen in government subsidies, claiming to suffer from sharp declines in beef and pork prices between 1999 and 2002, the major meat processor declared last Friday.


Prices fell because of the mad cow disease scare and a flood of low-priced pork imports.


For beef, Nippon Meat Packers illegally received 17 million yen in government subsidies between October 2001 and March 2002, during which time it had the government buy 4,345 cattle under a program designed to help livestock farmers and meat processors greatly affected by the mad cow disease incident.


The cattle included 236 head that were not subject to the price stabilization program, according to the company.


Nippon Meat Packers has returned the 17 million yen in addition to the subsidies it had received legally under the government program, a spokesperson added.


Together, these totaled 232 million yen.


The company also misused a government program for pork price stabilization and illegally obtained 11.34 million yen in 1999 and 2000, according to the spokesperson. The company also returned the money, said the spokesperson.


Top executives at Nippon Meat Packers were forced to resign in 2002 over a scandal in which employees at a subsidiary mislabeled imported beef as domestic and obtained more than 10 million yen in subsidies under the government program.

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