Philippine poultry and pork producers are planning to strike to show their discontent with the government's inability to crack down on illegal, smuggled meat imports.
Local poultry and pork producers are claiming that they are being out-priced and out-competed on the market level, and they are threatening to have a ‘meat holiday’: no slaughter and no sale of their meats on the market.
The Philippines’ agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala asked the producers not to go through with their meat holiday, fearing that consumers woud not abide by such a holiday, and still go on purchasing meat. They might not taste the difference, he added, opening the path to more smuggling. If this were to happen the consequences for the local industry would be horrendous, significantly for lower rural household incomes.
Swine producers claim that they lose as much as P3.2 billion (~€57 million)a month due to cheap smuggled pork. The Alliance of Food Processers, whose members buy meat internationally for their raw meat requirements, are dismissive of local producers’ claims, saying instead that the decline has more to do with the quality of local produced meat. The AFP see the local producers threat as tantamount to blackmail.