Chicken consumers on the island can brace themselves for another possible increase in price at retail outlets.
According to President of the Grenada Association of Poultry Producers (GAPP), Jason Phillip, the price of imported birds from Barbados has gone up with immediate effect.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, Phillip said that without any notice, the hatchery in Barbados informed them that the shipment that will be sent to Grenada will see an increase in the price for birds.
“The shipment is coming in and they literally notified us immediately that the price has increased – we were not given any prior or forward notice,” he said.
Phillip said the hatchery in Barbados indicated to him that in recent times they have been absorbing the increasing cost of eggs to produce the birds and it has reached the point where they can no longer sell at the old price and have no choice but to pass it onto their customers.
He stressed that while local poultry producers are paying more for their birds, the retail outlets especially local supermarkets are engaged in a continuous fight with them not to pay the higher prices charged by the local farmers for their produce.
Phillip said the reality of the situation is that farmers are not making but losing money on the sale of their chicken while these retail outlets have extremely high mark up on their prices from the product supplied to them by the same poultry producer.
“The retail outlets seem to be making money and the farmers are suffering because there seem to be no control on what the supermarkets are willing to pay,” he added.
The price of an imported bird will now move from $3.90 to $4.20 per bird.
According to Phillip, he expected the price of the bird from the other major importer, Geo. F. Huggins & Co. to also go up from its last price of $4.25 per bird.
The GAPP boss said that this latest increase in the price of imported birds is one that the association cannot absorb and will have to pass it on.
He noted that at the start of Covid-19 a year ago, the association did its best to keep prices down on imported products for both members and non-members to help everyone to survive in this period.
“We have operated in such a way (that) we did not discriminate against non-members. We treated non-members as members even when we brought feed (from Trinidad) and when we bring chicks when all of the private enterprise businesses refused or were not bringing any – we did that in order to keep farmers going,” he remarked.
Phillip made a plea for the Keith Mitchell-led government to start paying more attention to what is happening in the poultry industry.
He also suggested that the administration should get involved by helping to make sure the local farmers get a fair deal and return on their produce especially from the local supermarkets.
The following message was sent out by Phillip on Monday to GAPP members on the price adjustment for the latest shipment of imported birds from Barbados:
“Broiler Chicks Price Adjustment April 19, 2021
As was previously announced, we have been suddenly notified by the hatchery that the cost of day old Broiler chicks has been affected due to supply cost increases beyond their control. To this end the price increase will take immediate effect with today’s shipment April 19th.
The Grenada Association of Poultry Producers is unable to absorb the significance of this increase and the adjusted sale price is as follows:
Day old Broiler Chick each EC$4.20
We will advise on prices for Layer and Turkey chicks soonest.
We apologise for any and all inconveniences caused”.