“The Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association (BEPPA) has never denied what I have written.”
Last week and yesterday, on the program “Down To Brass-tacks” hosted by Mr. Tony Marshall, a couple of callers made some comments on the local poultry industry. Last week’s caller extolled the quality of local turkey, stating that it was superior to the imported product and ended up imploring listeners to buy “Bajan”. Yesterday’s caller, who was based in America, wondered why poultry in general was so expensive in Barbados.
I have some comments to make, primarily on the quality of the local product. However, before I do so, it is useful to re-cap some of the reasons why local poultry is so expensive.
About ninety-nine percent of the inputs for the industry have to be imported. These inputs include eggs for hatching; corn and soy as ingredients for rations; medicines needed for the welfare of the birds; processing equipment; packaging materials and chicken wire for the pens. All of these require the use of foreign exchange and the only appreciable local inputs are labor, some water and cement for the floors of the pens. There is, therefore little savings in terms of foreign currency outflow.
Additionally, there is the fact that the Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association (BEPPA), like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is a cartel.
BEPPA controls the feed plant, the importation of eggs, and the majority of slaughter- houses and so on. The situation is not alleviated by the fact that, Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) is also associated with the production of local poultry. The track record of litigation against ADM is well known in the USA, the European Union and Brazil and elsewhere. Continue reading