Consumers to pay more for pork
August 24, 2007

Consumers to pay more for pork

By Omesha Spence 24.AUG.07

Friday Night Barbecue may soon cost more, as the price of pork products is expected to increase.{{more}}

Nigel Greaves, Director of CK Greaves and Company, told SEARCHLIGHT earlier this week that consumers will see a rise in the price of some meat products because of the recent ban on importation of meat products from the United Kingdom.

According to Greaves, products such as pigtails, pork riblets and mild cheese, previously ordered from England, would cost more as they would have to be imported from other countries.

Greaves, who imports approximately 65% of the meat sold in his supermarkets from England, stated that there is a high demand for pork meats due to the popularity of “Friday Night Barbecue” and that consumers may have to switch to other goods.

Even though the products can be sourced from other countries, Greaves explained, “Suppliers are there, price is the problem”. He added that they acted immediately following the ban. “I was on the phone the next day trying to get suppliers,” he said. They are looking to suppliers in USA, Canada and other countries in Europe.

The ban, which was announced on Wednesday August 8th by Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel, affects cattle, beef, pork, mutton and lamb and products made from such meat. The Minister had predicted then that the disease would affect the availability of meat products in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

However other supermarkets seem confident about their access to other suppliers and state that the ban will not affect them significantly.

“Everything is ok so far”, stated Nicholas Reid, Missions Operator of the meat department of Coreas Mini Mart. Coreas, according to Reid, receives cattle foot, pig foot and pig tail from other sources such as Australia. Reid is also confident that they have enough stock to supply to consumers since a substantial amount was imported before the ban was issued.

Joe John, head of the meat department at Bonadie’s supermarket also stated that there is “not really a big impact” on their meat products. John also believes that they are well stocked on pig feet, which they import from England.

Supervisors at PH Veira and Company are confident that they are fully prepared as they have other meat sources besides England. However, supervisors state that they may not have enough stock to last for the next three months if the ban remains on products. “We don’t have the amount of stock for that right now,” was a supervisor’s response.

Foot and mouth disease, which was first detected on August 3rd in Surrey, England, seems to be spreading as two cases have been confirmed within a 10-kilometre surveillance zone of the first case. In spite of the new reports, officials claim that the disease will be over soon as the likeliness of the disease spreading outside of Surrey is “low”.