Farmers at Odds with Pork Sellers

MALAYSIA - Profit and risk underlying factors are being cited as the cause of a feud between local pig farmers and pork sellers.
calendar icon 11 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Profit and risk are the underlying factors of the feud between pig farmers and pork sellers, says Datuk Lee Chong Meng, a former secretary-general of the Federation of Livestock Farmers Associations of Malaysia.

Mr Lee said pig farmers feel bitter that they are facing higher risk and yet receiving less profit than pork sellers, according to The Sun of Malaysia.

Its report cites Sin Chew Daily, which says that a day after the two parties failed to resolve their latest fight over pig prices at their first dialogue in five years on Tuesday, Mr Lee said their relationship were less bitter years ago when both parties enjoyed the same profit margins, at about 30 per cent.

But with the cost of production going up, the pork sellers' attempt to maintain the same profit margin by suppressing pig prices has resulted in a never-ending saga of rivalry between the two sides.

"Pig farmers feel that since they have to bear a lot of risks, such as diseases that result in the death of their animals, there is no reason why they should be making less profit than pork sellers," said Mr Lee.

However, he said pork sellers are also exposed to risks on their credit sales to restaurant operators.

"They incur losses if they have problem collecting money from their debtors," he said.

He added that since cost of production is cited each time pig farmers raised the ex-farm price of pigs, it would augur well for them to be transparent about the cost and give a breakdown on the costs of the items that go into the production chain.

Mr Lee said Malaysians are consuming less and less pork. He said about 7,000 pigs are slaughtered each day now compared with 10,000 pigs a day 20 years ago.

Many have cited the high prices of pork and their loss of confidence in the safety of the meat following incidents such as beta-agonist abuse in pig farms, concludes the report in The Sun.

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