Imports of Pork Belly and Tail on the Decline – Samuda

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, addresses a press conference at the Ministry in St. Andrew on Wednesday (February 22).

Story Highlights

  • The Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is reporting that imports of pork belly and tail are on the decline, falling by 400,000 kilograms last year.
  • “So we are moving in the right direction, but we are not at a stage where we can avoid having to import pigtails and pork bellies,” he said.
  • He said there is no concrete evidence to support claims that illicit products are being brought into the country “in great quantities”.

The Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is reporting that imports of pork belly and tail are on the decline, falling by 400,000 kilograms last year.

“So we are moving in the right direction, but we are not at a stage where we can avoid having to import pigtails and pork bellies,” he said.

Minister Samuda was speaking at a press conference at the Ministry’s Hope Road offices in St. Andrew today (February 22), to address concerns that the local pork market is being saturated with imports.

He said there is no concrete evidence to support claims that illicit products are being brought into the country “in great quantities”.

He pointed out that the Ministry has an import policy for pork “that is fixed and without variation”, with only pork tails and bellies being imported into the country, as the local industry is unable to meet the demand for these items locally.

Mr. Samuda noted that the Ministry does not intend to issue any licences for pork “in the near future, or ever at all, based on the production we are experiencing right now”.

He said the data indicate that the local market has been producing very well, adding that production will be monitored so that demands can be met and expanded on a programmed basis.

“The pork industry of Jamaica is in good hands, led by an able… team of people working very hard to ensure that our food security, as far as they are concerned, is safe,” he said.

In the meantime, he said the Ministry will be increasing support to the pork industry and will seize products that are illegally imported.

“We are going to engage in activities that will see market surveys conducted in a manner that will assist in marketing and in the production of bi-products, not only for the local market but for the export market,” he said.

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