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Retailers aid beleaguered pig farmers

Update: April, 28/2017 - 10:09
Customers at the Co.opmart supermarket buy pork that has clear origin and meets VietGap standards. — VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Retailers in HCM City, including Saigon Co.op and Big C, are offering discounts on pork products in an effort to boost consumption.

The price of live pigs has dropped to a record VNĐ20,000-23,000 (US$0.87-$1.32) per kilo in recent days mostly because of oversupply, causing big losses for farmers.

According to a Saigon Co.op spokesperson, from April 25 to May 2, Co.opmart supermarkets and the Co.op Food chain will cut pork prices by 10-20 per cent to promote sales.

It has reduced sale prices, but has kept purchase prices unchanged to support farmers.

After the discounts, a kilo of pork thigh or pork shoulder is now sold at around VNĐ60,000 at Co.opmart and Co.op Food.

The price is VNĐ52,800 a kilo for pig’s trotters; VNĐ66,000 a kilo for pigtails and VNĐ70,000 a kilo for minced pork; and VNĐ48,000 a kilo for pork shank.

Co.opmart and Co.op Food have also cut prices of pork-based prepared and ready-to-eat food.

All the pork products have met food hygiene and safety regulations in addition to VietGap standards, and have clear label of origin.

Nguyễn Anh Đức, deputy general director of Saigon Co.op, said Co.opmart and Co.op Food had reduced pork prices to encourage consumption, while keeping buying prices unchanged to support farmers.

Depending on the market in coming days, Saigon Co.op will continue to adjust prices in the spirit of support for farmers, he said.

Big C Vietnam also cut prices by 8 per cent on all pork products since Tuesday. This is its third adjustment since March, raising the total discount rate by 20 per cent.

Hồ Quốc Nguyên, PR director for Central Group Vietnam, said pork sold at Big C was supplied by businesses under the city’s price stabilisation programme.

Input pork prices have not seen major fluctuations, but the retailer has updated market prices to adjust sales prices to ensure the best deal for consumers.

At a meeting between Long An Province and Vissan Joint Stock Company on Tuesday, Đinh Thị Phương Khanh, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said farmers in her province had been suffering from a continuous decline in pig prices since before Tết (Lunar New Year).

The price has fallen from VNĐ31,000-33,000 a kilo before Tết to VNĐ 23,000-25,000 a kilo, while the production cost is VNĐ37,000 for each kilo, resulting a total loss of about VNĐ40-45 billion.

The province has a total of 299,000 pigs, with 30,000-40,000 pigs needed to be sold each month, with 21,578 pigs bred following VietGap standards, she said.

Nguyễn Đăng Phú, deputy general director of Vissan Co Ltd, said that Vissan understood the difficulties faced by pig farmers due to the relentless fall in pig prices.

But, because of regulations ensuring product quality, Vissan will only buy pigs that meet VietGap standards and that are bred under the Livestock Competitiveness and Food Safety Project, as well as pigs that are bred at farms participating in a city programme to trace their origin.

Vissan currently sells 1,500 pigs every day from Vissan’s own farm as well as from its associated farms.

To help the livestock industry of Long An province, Vissan will buy an additional 200 pigs from this province each day. But the pigs must meet VietGap standards, he said.

At a meeting in Hà Nội on Monday, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường called on large animal husbandry businesses to increase their purchase of pigs and keep them in frozen storage in order to help farmers reduce inventories and stop the downward price spiral.

As scheduled, the ministry will meet with authorities, businesses and farmers in HCM City today to discuss measures to boost consumption of the meat. — VNS

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