Agriculture Minister Cautions Against Importing Pork

MONTEGO BAY, March 29 (JIS): Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has
cautioned consumers and stakeholders in the food industry, not to panic in the face of the reported shortages in the pork industry and to resist the urge for imported alternatives.

“I wish to refer to the current situation as it relates to the reported shortages in the pork industry. While we appreciate that there may be a current tightness in the market, we need to resist the urge to open (the) floodgates of importation and thereby destroying our hard-earned achievements in the sector,” Mr. Kellier said.

He issued the caution as he addressed the recent official launch of Jamaica’s ninth Agro-Park, the Sweet River Abattoir Agro-Park near Ferris Cross in Westmoreland. Mr. Kellier noted that the Ministry will do its best to safeguard the gains made and will therefore be calling all stakeholders and industry players to a meeting next week to assess the situation and discuss the way forward.

He further told participants at the launching ceremony of the $292 million abattoir, that the Government was committed to providing the legislative framework to ensure the success of the abattoir, by making it mandatory that all commercial meat pass through certified abattoirs.

“Together with the National Animal Identification and Traceability System and the recently established Praedial Larceny Unit, we are confident that this arrangement will deal another blow to praedial thieves. I am sure that we can all together make this work,” the Agriculture Minister said.

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