December 2, 2011
The Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, Inc. (ProPork) and the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. (NFHFI) jointly declared that there is no pork shortage, only shortage of pork buyers as they urged the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Customs to exert more effort in cracking down on pork smuggling.
The groups also said that the continued influx of imported pork products, which show up even in wet markets, is contributing to the demise of the country's hog industry.
ProPork president Edwin Chen is urging all pork producers to increase their efficiency and take a more active stance in directly bringing their product directly to the consumers, thereby removing the middlemen who drive retail prices up.
According to pork producers, there is adequate production of hogs.
In fact, the oversupply of hogs has driven down live weight farmgate prices to PHP80 (US$1.84) per kilo from the previous high of PHP150 (US$3.46)/kilo.
Dr. Zosimo de Leon of NFHFI blasted the projections from the Livestock and Poultry Information-Early Warning System (LPI-EWS) of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), saying the data are misleading as they are based it on "scenarios" using several variables.
Producers, on the other hand, know exactly what is happening on the ground, De Leon said.
This consisted of 90 million kilos of offals/fats/skin which is subject to a tiered tariff of five percent, seven percent and 10 percent, and 30 million of choice cuts which is subject to a 35 percent tariff.
Smuggled pork products are normally misdeclared as offals/fats/skins.
Chen, for his part, is urging local pork growers to embark on creating their own brand and putting up their own meatshops/outlets to bring more reasonably priced pork products to consumers.