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Pork Products in High Demand

by 5m Editor
23 December 2008, at 6:30am

FIJI - Demand for whole pigs is running high this festive season, with pork products on the verge of rationing in some areas.

The Fiji Times Online reports that in the west, piggeries are finding demand surprisingly high given the economic downturn, while in Suva, at least one major pork product manufacturer has had to consider rationing supply.

Vuda Piggery Limited stock officer Temesia Tanidrala said pig sales have been very high for the past two weeks.

"People seem to be buying despite these hard times. Even on Sundays, we've had people coming here to buy pigs," he said.

As well as that, the piggery also sends about 30 pigs a week to Fiji Meats Limited.

Wahleys Butchery director Greg Harm Nam confirmed that there was a shortage of pork products but that it was a seasonal glitch. "Every year is usually like that. The demand grows at this time of the year. But what happens is that during the middle of the year, the demand is not as high as it is now so we don't boost production all round or we will be stuck with unsold products mid-year," he said.

He said at present they were rationing some special items like pickled pork to ensure that as many customers as possible get these.

"I don't have enough. We have to ration items. We don't have enough pickled pork and Christmas hams and right now these are the products that are also in demand by hotels who want it for Christmas parties and functions".

He said a lot depends on whether the last minute Christmas rush sees a corresponding rise in demand for pork.

"It's an expensive item and around mid-year, it's the hotel and catering industry that keeps it going. But we didn't increase production because of the slow down in hotel industry. After the festive period, we should be okay," he said. Christmas hams are selling for around $14 a kilogram with boneless pickled pork averaging $15 a kilogram.

Mr Tanidrala said they had special prices for whole pigs this season.

"We have discounts because we know there are a lot of people coming to buy. We sell them as high as $500, but people still buy."

He said that they also sell piglets for $10 each.

The Vuda Piggery, owned by Simon Cole, has about 3000 pigs.