CEBU

Pork producers assure enough meat supply this Christmas

OVERSUPPLY. Central Visayas has experienced an oversupply of pork due to the low consumer demand caused by the varying stages of lockdowns since March, but low supply of pork in Manila has somehow offset the losses incurred by pork producers in the past months. With the Christmas season approaching, pork producers assure consumers of a steady supply of pork products. / SUNSTAR FILE

THE Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (Cevippco) has assured consumers in the region that it has more than enough meat supply for the upcoming holidays.

Cevippco president Paul Holaysan told SunStar Cebu, that the volume of pork has increased due to the low consumer demand during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when Cebu was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Consumer consumption was estimated to drop 60 percent when we were still in ECQ,” he said.

Since the lockdown disrupted the supply chain and forced restaurants to temporarily halt operations, the lack of customers in restaurants, guests and tourists in hotels and even students at schools battered meat sales.

“They were our big consumers,” Holaysan said.

However, since they started supplying excess supply to Luzon, Holaysan said this somehow helped sales to pick up.

“Consumption really dropped due to this pandemic, and we won’t see it going back to normal that soon. It will take time.

But selling to Luzon did help a bit in relieving our oversupply problem,” he said.

Prices of livestock have improved, and he said they hoped that this can help offset losses since the lockdown.

“We sent around 1,000 to 2,000 heads per week when we started supplying to Luzon,” he said.

Holaysan said the industry foresees a slow recovery in the local market.

“However, Luzon would be able to absorb our oversupply but challenging logistics would be present and most farmers are not equipped to supply Luzon. We are also cautious since there’s also a high risk of transporting African swine fever (ASF) here through trucks,” he said.

Cevippco immediate past president Rolando Tambago reiterated the call to protect Cebu from ASF.

“Cebu is the fourth largest pork producing province in the country with a local hog industry valued at P11 billion. The farmers here produce 53,890 metric tons of pork annually and with major producers in Luzon and Mindanao already affected by ASF, it is important that we protect Cebu, it being the remaining major producer of pork with no ASF cases in the country,” he said in an earlier report. (JOB)


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