Secretary Ramon Lopez yesterday said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to lift the ban on imported chicken and chicken products from Brazil to avert a possible shortage of, and price increase on, processed meats.
Lopez told the Laging Handa public briefing yesterday the DTI had sent a letter to DA Secretary William Dar seeking the lifting of the importation ban following warnings by the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) it will have to increase its prices by 10 to 14 percent.
The ban was imposed by the DA on poultry and mechanically-deboned meat, the key ingredient in processed meats, after China reported the presence of SARS-COV 2, the causative agent of the new coronavirus disease in a surface sampling of chicken meat it imported from Brazil.
He said with the ban, PAMPI members may have to source from other countries at prices much higher than Brazil offers.
The ban, Lopez said, is a threat to food supply especially that processors only have a month’s worth of inventory of raw materials.
“It might threaten supply of canned and processed meat which is one big food category that is bought by the public,” he said.
But Lopez assured the DTI would not automatically approve any price increase and will study the price adjustment thoroughly.
“But this will have an impact on the prices, if we do not solve this problem,” he added.
Brazil supplies 20 to 25 percent of raw materials for canned meats in the country.