Last update: 11-Dec-2013 4:05 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Abdulah to Govt: Track food prices
Trade unionist and Government Senator David Abdulah says the demand for local poultry is on the decline with the possibility of significant retrenchment of workers in the industry. He said poultry farmers could be placed on the breadline by loss of their livelihood. He said the industry could face a similar situation as the 1980s when poultry farmers lost their farms and livelihoods.
He called on Government to set up an inter-ministerial committee for prices of food items to be tracked from the point of origin to the point of purchase in a supermarket. Abdulah, president of the Federation of Independent Trade Union and NGOs (FITUN), was addressing the media yesterday at the Communication Workers’ Union Hall, Henry Street, Port-of-Spain. He said the union was absolutely appalled over the dumping of old chicken.
He said frozen chicken as old as four years, in particular leg and thighs which were not in demand in the United States, was being piled up in frozen conditions and brought into T&T. He said: “Some unscrupulous importers are paying something like US$0.06 a pound for these frozen chicken parts, bringing them and then of course charging much more than that from consumers so they are not only price-gouging and profiteering but they are also putting the health of citizens at risk.”
Poultry manager at Master Mix Feeds, Geoffrey Rostant, had said 3.29 million kg of chicken was imported into the country in August, of which 72 per cent was allowed in duty free. His estimation was based on data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Abdulah said: “There is another issue generally where a few very large importers are price-gouging and we are calling on the Government to establish a small inter-ministerial team — Minister of Trade, Minister of Finance, Customs and Excise, Minister of Food Production and the Prices Council — to ensure that we can get the information to track the price of a food items from the point of origin to the point of the consumer buying it in a grocery or a supermarket, as the case may be, because we believe that between the point of origin and the point of sale there is price-gouging and profiteering taking place so that consumers are paying higher than they ought to pay.”
He said key policy factors were at stake with the importation of food and consumers were the ones affected by unfair pricing and poor quality items.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.