PH chicken producers ready for ‘Christmas rush’

Published November 14, 2021, 7:00 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippines’ major commercial poultry producers are ready for the ‘Christmas rush’, with consumers assured of the supply and stable prices.

Vitarich Corporation spokesperson Atty. Karen Jimeno said that when it comes to supply, the company is “ready for the Christmas rush and the opening of the economy”.

“Our industry is one of the few that provide both livelihood and fresh nutritious food for the Filipino people,” Jimeno said.

“As for keeping the prices stable, the chicken industry keeps trying to keep our prices low despite our challenges caused by the fuel hike and the shortage of corn supply,” she added.

As of Nov. 11, the average retail price of whole dressed chicken in select markets in Metro Manila has been stable at P160 per kilogram (/kg), based on latest price monitoring of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

45715

On the status of the local chicken industry, Jimeno has remained optimistic about the sector despite the current low demand and the continuous entry of imported chicken into the country.

“With the proper disclosure of timely and appropriate data, we can strike a balance. For several months, we have never reached the demand of pre-pandemic levels and the local chicken industry has not faltered in trying to provide our people with fresh, disease-free poultry,” Jimeno said.

“Given the proper policy, definitely the private sector can fuel self-sufficiency of the poultry sector and even in fact, even be competitive as we are bird flu free. The local chicken industry has been vigilant in monitoring chicken imports, careful that countries with the bird flu do not export their chickens to us. So far, the Department of Agriculture has been responsive in this effort,” she further said.

Based in Bulacan, Vitarich is the first commercial feed company in the Philippines and has been producing poultry and livestock feeds that adhere to world quality standards since 1950. The company also produces chicken products through its fully integrated broiler production.

For his part, Cargill Philippines Corporate Affairs Director Cris Ilagan agreed with Jimeno that there is enough supply in the market. He likewise cited the increase in the price of raw materials as one of the challenges the industry is currently facing.

“Based on our current reading of the market, it seems like there is enough chicken supply today. Nonetheless, there are pressures on the industry these days, especially when it comes to raw material costs – corn, soybean meal – whose prices have been much elevated and thus does put pressure on production costs of poultry farmers,” Ilagan said.

“These cost pressures in commodities are being experienced in many parts of the world, not just the Philippines,” he added.

To address the challenges faced by the industry, Ilagan said the government should come up with the “right policies”.

These policies, according to him, should focus on lowering input cost by making raw materials, utilities, transport, and logistics affordable and accessible; allowing an expanding footprint for the sector to grow into by reforming zoning laws; retaining an animal disease-free environment; and supporting infrastructure to complement the entire value chain from roads and warehouses to cold storage and laboratory facilities.

He also said that investor incentives could be helpful as well as facilitating market access and promoting Philippine poultry products abroad.

“Based on the discussions on the Poultry Roadmap [being drafted by Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries], most agreed that the country should aspire for export status and not just plan to fulfill the domestic demand. It’s a big aspiration, but an exciting one as well,” Ilagan said.

“Long-term, the poultry sector continues to have good prospects – it was the only major agriculture sub-sector gainer in the latest GDP [gross domestic product] numbers – and in the face of African Swine Fever [ASF], remains to be a viable substitute to pork. To ensure industry competitiveness, ensuring a resilient and efficient supply chain from farm-to-fork will be key,” he further said.

Cargill Philippines is the local subsidiary of food and agriculture multinational firm Cargill. Cargill supplies chicken to Jollibee Foods Corporation through their joint venture Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production, which has a poultry processing facility in Santo Tomas, Batangas.

Of all the sub-sectors in the agriculture sector, only poultry registered a growth during the third quarter of the year.

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that poultry production, which accounted for 14.6 percent of the total agriculture and fisheries production, increased by 1.3 percent during the period.

At current prices, the value of poultry production went up by 2.5 percent to P65.13 billion.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["business","business-news","business"]
[2862966,2916154,2916151,2916145,2916139,2916124,2916118]