By Lilybeth Ison
MANILA — Establishing triple “A” slaughterhouses could bring down the prices of processed meat in the market and improve the livelihood of hog raisers, local meat processors said.
This, as meat processors turn to local suppliers to meet the market demand as the top meat importer in the country was banned by the government.
To help meet the rising demand for processed meat, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (Pampi) on Wednesday appealed anew to the government to provide the industry with world-class slaughterhouses.
This way, meat processors would no longer have to import more and this would compel them to source their raw materials locally, said Pampi president Felix Tiukinhoy Jr.
“What we are specifically asking is the establishment of Grade “AAA” slaughterhouses that are world-class and globally competitive,” he said.
This facility, Tiukinhoy said, will help ensure the steady supply of high-quality raw materials for meat producers and processors.
He said the industry needs “a dependable and stable supply of high-quality raw materials such as chicken, pork and beef.”
Tiukinhoy added that the private sector could help government in the establishment and management of the facility.
At present, local hog raisers have yet to maximize the potential of their businesses, as it is the middlemen who get the big slice of the pie in the value chain.
With the establishment of Triple-A slaughterhouses, prices of processed meats or those in canned goods will become more affordable as industry players turn to local producers for its supply, he said.
Tiukinhoy said the establishment of the Triple-A slaughterhouses will also help hog farmers earn more from their hard work as they can directly market their produce to the buyers using the facility.
“Livestock growers should have access to these modern ‘AAA’ abattoirs and modern fabrication floors and laboratories as well as refrigerated holding rooms to protect the quality of their meat products,” he said.
According to reports, the country’s meat imports in 2018 rose by over a fifth to a record high of nearly 850,000 metric tons (MT) as requirements from processors for raw materials expanded, coupled with a growing demand by Filipinos for protein products.
Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed that meat imports last year rose by 22.73 percent from 2017’s 691,462.564 MT.
It also showed that 46.20 percent or about 392,129.183 MT of the total meat imports last year were pork.
Germany remained the top pork exporter to the Philippines in 2018, as it accounted for 20.64 percent of the total imports.
A memorandum order suspending the accreditation of German foreign meat establishments to ship meat products in the country was issued last week by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
The ban was imposed following the confiscation of a meat shipment from Germany containing pork from Poland, a country hit by the African swine fever. (PNA)