In the coming weeks Barbadians can expect to pay more for chicken and other meat products.
That’s because livestock feeds are set to increase by an average of 26 per cent from August 1 and the chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul has warned that those increased costs will be passed onto consumers.
The decision by Pinnacle Feeds Limited to substantially raise their feed prices is a result of a sustained increase in the price of corn on the world market from $3.50 per bushel to as much as $7.
The situation has led to Paul requesting a meeting with Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir.
In a letter dated July 28 addressed to Weir and copied to his permanent secretary and the chief agricultural officer, Paul said he was informed of the planned price hike by Pinnacle Feeds Ltd.
“The Barbados Agricultural Society was informed by Pinnacle Feeds Ltd that livestock feeds will increase by an average of 26 per cent effective August 1, 2021. This is the result of a sustained increase in the price of corn on world markets from $3.50 per bushel to a maximum of $7. Reports received yesterday were that the spot price was $6.54 per bushel still way above the previous average price for corn of $3.50,” Paul stated in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY.
“In addition, the reports received on crop expectations in Brazil and the USA are not providing any comfort to the livestock industry with dry conditions continuing on the USA Northern Plains and parts of the Corn Belt just as a cold front moves into Brazil. The outlook is not good and it does appear a new normal is being established. Consequently, we have met with our farmers and other stakeholders in the industry who are of the view that the price of chicken and other meat products will increase as a result of the increased price of feed,” he cautioned.
“Therefore, we are suggesting that a meeting be convened with the relevant stakeholders to tell you and other interests of our efforts to ensure that we do what is necessary to minimise the extent of the obvious increase.”
When contacted about the development, a tight-lipped Paul told Barbados TODAY he expected an official announcement to be made on Saturday.
“What I would say is that I guess an announcement should be made over the weekend in respect of that,” the CEO said.
Less than two weeks ago while speaking at a press conference, Paul maintained that the BAS was working alongside farmers to ensure that the price of meat products was kept down.
However, he hinted at the possibility of an increase in feed prices as he said Government’s rebate on feed which was offered to farmers would finish at the end of July.
“We were wondering what impact it would have on the local feed. I want to say again on behalf of the farmers of this country and the BAS, thanks to the government of Barbados for providing the necessary support to our sole feed manufacturer. And they have been able to hold the price of feed and we expect that will continue hopefully until the end of this month but we do not know beyond the end of this month what is likely to happen,” Paul said at the time.