BAS keeping an eye on chicken wing imports


THE Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) will be monitoring the importation of chicken wings into the island this year, to ensure that the quota of three containers per month is adhered to.
CEO of the BAS, James Paul, gave this assurance recently, acknowledging that in the past, there have been some issues between the BAS and the Barbados Agricultural Development  and Marketing Corporation (BADMC), in relation to the quantities of chicken wings being imported, giving competition to the local poultry sector.
“The BAS had meetings with the BADMC, looking again at bringing in chicken wings as they used to do in the past. Clearly what has happened in the past is that chicken wings used to come in, but because of the increase in the prices then at that point in time, clearly there was a preference for turkey wings and turkey wings came in. What we are seeing now, because again of the changing world market and turkey wings becoming less attractive as a commodity, being less profitable, they are reverting to chicken wings,” Paul explained.
“What I want to emphasise is that we have always had an understanding in this country where a certain quota would come in on a monthly basis. And I want to make it very clear that we cannot bring in any quantities that we can see the poultry industry in itself being damaged, because the fact of the matter is that when we had brought in two large quantities of chicken wings in the past, the industry suffered,” Paul added.
Stressing that last year was a record year in terms of production in the poultry industry, the BAS head noted that there was some additional investment in the sector as well, as new entrants came into the poultry industry, opening up farms on a regular basis.
As such, Paul stressed that for 2016, he does not want to see a repeat of a situation where state bodies are competing with the very interest for which they are there to develop.
“We are having a very good year when it comes to poultry. We had a very good year last year. We expect to have a very good year this year. In terms of eggs, the country is very well served and we intend to try to ensure that as producers, that the farmers continue to play their part in ensuring that Barbadians get the product. But what we don’t want is a situation where state authorities like the BADMC engage in any action that could only frustrate farmers at the end of the day, by bringing in quantities that can only therefore compromise the market, for our local poultry producers,” Paul emphasised. (RSM)


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