Meat processors vow to buy local poultry products amid production issues | Inquirer News

Meat processors vow to buy local poultry products amid production issues

/ 06:25 PM June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A meat processors’ association has vowed to purchase poultry products from local broiler growers, to avoid the country’s reliance on imports amid a supposed oversupply of such poultry meat.

According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI), requests from Agriculture Secretary William Dar — that processors buy from local poultry farms for mechanically deboned meat (MDM) products — is a welcome development as it would reduce their importation costs.

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“We will buy all the MDM that local producers can provide so that we don’t have to import it anymore, thus saving our precious foreign exchange,” PAMPI president Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tiukinhoy said that they are willing to work with local growers to help the said industry, in line with Dar’s plea.

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However, PAMPI also clarified that importing of meat and other raw materials were essential, as MDM serves as the main ingredient of several canned meat products, which were purchased and distributed massively when the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic were in place.

“Since March when ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) was declared, the meat product imports that are being demanded to be banned by a group of poultry lobbyists enabled our industry to produce processed meat products that feed millions of our people up to today even as we write you this letter,” PAMPI previously said.

The issue on imported meat started when the United Broilers Raisers Association (Ubra) and the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) asked the Department of Agriculture was keen on stopping local production and allow imports while poultry raisers are still facing problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the groups, the move was a “bizarre,” given the chicken prices in the markets have fallen to almost P70 per kilo during that time.

Dar clarified that no such order was made by the Bureau of Animal Industry, saying that it was merely “fake news.”  However, he acknowledged that there was an oversupply in poultry products, and some of the products imported are not available locally — like MDMs.

He also promised to urge meat producers to purchase local versions, if these are available.

Tiukinhoy, on the other hand, assured that PAMPI would work with local meat producers, and would not allow itself to be interrupted by such issues.

“We exist to serve the needs of our people and we will not allow any group or groups, whoever they are, to destroy our industry,” he added.

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, broiler raisers, Bureau of Animal Industry, COVID-19, Department of Agriculture, GCQ, general community quarantine, lockdown, Meat processors, nCoV update, PAMPI, Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc., Philippine news updates, poultry industry, Secretary William Dar
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