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Jul 9, 2020

Special Chicken Cuts Scarce, but Not for Long

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the productive sector, but today poultry producers confirmed that whole chickens are not in short supply at the grocery stores.  But chicken parts are and restaurants that sell the famous “fry chicken”   are temporarily out of chicken parts.  Producers had to shift the way they grow the bird and will now have to go into overdrive to keep the supply chain of chicken parts steady.  Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo with a report.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

There is a shortage of chicken but don’t panic and don’t be alarmed. It is a temporary shortage says Manager of the Belize Poultry Association, Armando Cowo.

 

Armando Cowo, Belize Poultry Association

“The shortage would span this week and next week. You can still eat chicken right?”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Yes, I had some chicken last night.”

 

Armando Cowo

Armando Cowo

“Exactly.  We are not at zero. We are definitely not at zero that people will say, you know what I will run to go and buy a chicken because comes Saturday and I want to buy my chicken for my rice and beans Sunday and I got done. We are not there. And we will not be there.”

 

And if you visit stores, what you will not find is specialty parts.

 

Armando Cowo

“The shortage in the market right now is special cuts like wings. If you go to a bar that sells wings and you want to enjoy a beer with wings, it is not there. And other specialty cuts, like the boneless breasts, breasts meat, leg and thighs. We were not gearing our production into that segment of the market.”

 

And that’s because it was uncertain when restaurants and bars would reopen and to what degree so producers focused more on producing whole chickens for household use.

 

Armando Cowo

“With regards to what the housewife buys which is the whole chicken. I mean if you go to the store to take a chicken home, yes the younger generation where the couple works that want that specialty cuts because they can just grab that  and cook that. The traditional housewife can buy the whole chicken. There is enough whole chicken for that.”

 

At the start of the pandemic, in order to avoid a great loss, producers were basically giving our free chickens to consumers. Now consumers are complaining that the price of chicken has drastically increased. Cowo confirmed that Caribbean Chicken has decided to sell chicken at an increased price.

 

Armando Cowo

“One of our companies, the one from up north Caribbean Chicken decided that they will review their pricing policy and they adjusted their prices a whole chicken by eight cents a pound which means that if you buy a four pound chicken at wholesale price it should be an eight cent difference, thirty two cents per bird. Now if the middle man takes that and jacks it up and makes a dollar out of it,that is something different.”

 

According to Cowo there are four hundred and sixty thousand pounds of whole chicken in reserve that is being slowly funneled into the local market. This will buy enough time to avoid a real shortage until the new cycle commences. He says slaughtering starts on Friday and so, the shortage should only last for about a week until the local market is replenished.

 

Armando Cowo

“Yes there is a shortage. It is small shortage. We are addressing it. We will be back to normal very soon and I can assure the Belizean people and the consumer that come the end of July everybody will be happy to whatever piece of chicken they want to buy. It will be there.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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