December 5, 2011

Philippine meat traders predict "strong" increase in prices


The Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA) in the Philippines warn of a "strong increase in prices" this Christmas season following lower meat importations.
MITA has blasted local hog farmers and growers for refusing to adapt and adjust to changing market models and instead simply pinning the blame on others.
MITA president Jesus C. Cham said that hog producers last year complained of over-importation and yet farm-gate prices then were the highest on record.
Today, they still complain of low farm-gate prices when overall pork importation is down by nearly 20 percent, he added.
 Cham questioned the hog industry if banning importation would resolve their problems.
Over the years, Cham noted that the hog producers have been placing the blame on several factors for their problems.
Cham said they have only to look at themselves to realize that they have kept the same business model since World War II.
Cham also criticized the hog producers for maintaining "one sole sales channel" which are the viajeros or middle men.
Likewise, Cham said, hog producers continue to maintain one product which is the live hog.
Such a business model, Cham pointed out, "has prevented them from exploiting the full potential of the value chain."
Even today, Cham said hog farmers refuse to recognize and appropriate scientific learning and technology and instead, still falsely insist that imported meat is unsanitary compared to local meat.
What will be of concern this Christmas season, Cham warned, is a "strong increase in the price of meat."
Importers, this time around, Cham said, are not in a position to influence prices because they have a shortage of products.

The Department of Agriculture, thus, Cham said, "should appeal and prevail upon the hog farmers and local producers to keep their prices low and supplies available."

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