Chicken price up
BARBADIANS will be paying more for chicken from Monday.
This is because wholesale prices to retailers have been increased.
Wendell Clarke, vice-president of the Egg and Poultry Association of Barbados (BEPA), said he believed that regardless of the increase, people would still buy and consume the protein source.
Clarke said he was more concerned about some farmers producing a smaller bird so as to save on feed and try to produce a cheaper chicken.
“The price increase is going to affect the consumers in that they are going to have to spend more of their disposable income in these food commodities. Yet if you compare chicken with the other meat prices you will find chicken is still the cheapest meat on the market,” he said.
Andrew Bynoe, managing director and owner of Emerald City and Carlton A1 supermarkets, told the SATURDAY SUN that the price rise was as a result of increasing world feed prices with which local livestock producers have had to grapple. He said the retailers were therefore forced to pass on this hike.
Bynoe said because of this feed price increase, consumers could also expect a price surge in locally produced pork, beef and lamb.
“So there will be an increase in all meat prices. We could see a slight decline in chicken purchases,” Bynoe said.
“There will be some people who will switch and find a meat substitute such as corned beef or other canned products; they might use tinned meat in the gravy instead of chicken,” he said.
Marketing executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Lisa Davis, said a price increase for chicken was nothing they welcomed.
She said that they were already struggling to maintain prices and had no idea how much longer they could do so.
“Consumers are basically screaming out at our prices right now. So we don’t want to have to raise the prices again. But obviously, as our costs go up we don’t have a choice, we just raised them and I don’t know how well the market will welcome another price increase . . . . I will try my best to see that we don’t [increase prices] or to see how else we can absorb them,” she said.
Davis said it was not an easy time for the fast-food company and although they were trying to offer value “it is still not bringing customers”.
Bynoe said in view of the hike in chicken prices and the impending increase in other meat products his supermarket would be offering customers a five per cent discount on selected items every Thursday.
Barbadians are one of the highest consumers of chicken in the world, on a per capita basis. Last year approximately eight million chickens were slaughtered for consumption here, one less million than in 2009.