By: John Rey Saavedra
CEBU CITY – The decision of the national government to impose a temporary ban on importation of meats from Germany has earned the support of meat processors in the country, a meat processors organization official said on Thursday.
Felix Tiukinhoy Jr., president of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI), said the decision of the Department of Agriculture (DA) came after a “serious breach” in the inspection system when “10 boxes of pork flat bones from Poland were mistakenly included in a full container load of pork meat from Germany” that arrived at the Port of Cebu.
The shipment of pork from Poland was discovered by quarantine officers at the Cebu International Port (CIP) here last June 27.
However, Silvana Maria Pinter-Könemann, export manager of Profoods in Germany, clarified in a letter to Josefina Rico, regional technical director of National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS-7) in Mandaue City, Cebu, that the frozen pork flat bones were “mistakenly exported” to the Philippines.
In a memorandum order dated July 3, DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol directed the temporary suspension of system accreditation of all German establishments to export meat to the Philippines.
Tiukinhoy said their association is aware that pork meat imports from Poland have been banned by the DA since September of last year due to African Swine Fever (ASF).
He, however, clarified their earlier pronouncement on the effect of such ban of meat imports from Germany on the prices of pork-based processed meats.
“The expected increase in the selling prices of pork-based processed meats is a result of the higher pork prices in the world markets,” Tiukinhoy said in Cebuano in a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He said the “price pressures are mainly due to the shortage in supply” brought about by the ASF that has swept parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia.
As the ASF infection hit almost all provinces of China and reportedly affected about 42 percent of their hog farms, it reportedly forced the country with a population of 1.4 billion to aggressively buy pork from the world market, affecting demand and supply from other pork-eating countries.
Tiukinhoy reiterated that the “ban on the importation of all meats, including pork, from Germany will only increase world pork prices more.”
“There are statements of facts that the DA should understand about the issue,” he said.
He said while the movement of prices of pork-based meat products may not happen now, “certainly, meat products with high pork content will be affected more.”
He said the products that might be affected by the price increase include bacon, ham, tocino and to some extent, some hotdogs and sausages.
Tiukinhoy said PAMPI will closely coordinate with the DA, as the “issue already involves food security covering the country’s population of over 100 million Filipinos.” (PNA)