Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - Page 2 News List

COA promotion aimed at driving down pork prices

Staff writer, with CNA

The Council of Agriculture (COA) launched a pork promotion campaign on Tuesday, with discounts of 20 percent being offered on frozen products to help drive down the retail price of pork.

A total of 50 supermarkets run by agriculture associations in New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Kao-hsiung and Pingtung, Penghu and Kinmen counties are participating in the sale of frozen pork products, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) said.

Wholesale hog prices have dropped significantly — to less than NT$50 per kilogram — because of a supply glut, but retail prices have not reflected the -decline and hovered around NT$200 per kg, Chen said.

The council plans to review the campaign every two weeks and see whether the sales need to be expanded, he added. More stores, including supermarket chains and warehouse retailers, will participate in the second wave of sales tomorrow, which will bring the total number of stores participating to more than 800, Chen said.

The campaign will allow consumers to buy pork at discounted prices, while helping swine farmers resolve a supply glut, said Hsu Kuei-sen (許桂森), head of the council’s Department of Animal Husbandry.

Meanwhile, the council is carefully assessing the oversupply problem, as well as discussing with farmers the number of hogs that need to be slaughtered, Hsu said.

Before a consensus on the number can be reached, the ministry needs to calculate the number of swine exceeding limits set for each city and county, Hsu said, a task he said would be finished tomorrow.

In order to stabilize pork prices, the department has proposed that 60,000 pigs be slaughtered between May and July, but farmers want that number boosted to 100,000, Hsu said.

A final decision will be made at a meeting on Monday between the department and a major swine breeding association.

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