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What’s Trending: Poultry threat

What’s Trending: Poultry threat

Sun, March 24, 2013 - 10:44 AM

The Nation’s Associate Editor, Sherie Holder-Olutayo takes a look at wjhat’s trending  today  in Barbados.

Readers today are talking about the hit the Barbados Poultry Industry is taking because major fast food outlets want to import most if not all of their meat. Here are some of their comments.

Sandrea Butcher: Well, I knew that this was coming. But guess what, the production of chicken appears to be productively inefficient (high average cost of production), so you can't blame the businesses. So what are our options? Something needs to be done because we are constantly talking about reducing imports.

1. Should the government put a ban on the import of chicken products? Not a good option based on the 'free trade' that the WTO has been preaching (but not practising singe large countries subsidise production of commodities such as rum).

2. Should chicken producers seek to expand production to the point efficiently, where they achieve economies of scale? Maybe they could change their production methods to become large enough to export free-range, 'organic' chicken which is in high demand by health conscious consumers. Mr Paul, give us some options and seek to solve the problems. Don't just discuss the problems. You will be talking about this again next year. Stupse!

Cheese On: Well before they gain entry place in the agreement, contract or whatever that they can open business once they use local poultry or beef to operate that business!That's what I would do, rather than give them permission and  then grumble about it afterwards! Then we wonder why our foreign exchange is almost non-existent. Don't say tourism because the high rate of crime is hurting that seriously!

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Posted by Hugo Todd 1 year, 5 months ago
Sandrea Butcher and Cheese On makes good points. First production has to improve to lower the price. But it is true that some countries also subsidize products that give their producers a competitive advantage. Barbadians have to look at ways to lower prices and being more efficient. However the time to deal with these issues is not after permission has been given to import.

Barbadians have to look at ways to support the local producers and the producers have to take steps to gain the business. It is in everyone's interest to keep the money circulating locally. Everyone wins. But the producers cannot gouge the consumers to make profits and expect support.

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Posted by Peter lane 1 year, 5 months ago
Ban imports or add duties/levys to level playing field! We/consumers will pay more for food but at least we will be employed and can pay. What is the point of having cheap food that we cannot buy since we have no jobs (the foreigners kill our local farming industry). WTO does not server our interests. This is exactly what has happened to other islands in the Caribbean already and we certainly don't want to be next victim.

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