To panic or not to panic? Local meat processors issue contrasting statements
In the span of three days, Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) has issued three contrasting statements, one of which is supposedly “not meant for public consumption”, regarding the country’s supplies of processed meat products.
On Saturday, PAMPI, one of the biggest group of local meat processors in the Philippines, said there’s no need to panic as they are now coordinating with the government how to address their falling inventory amid the Luzon-wide lockdown, which is being implemented to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The statement came as public becomes confused about the real status on the country’s supply of processed meat.
The confusion started when on Thursday, PAMPI released a statement, saying that the country would have a steady supply or at least two months’ worth of canned meat products amid the lockdown.
But in a letter to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, PAMPI expressed its concerns on their supply constraints, saying that by the first week of April, their inventories will run out without adequate new production, along with those in possession of distributors and retailers.
“Thus, we anticipate severe shortage of our goods by mid-April,” PAMPI said.
The main reason, according to the group, is its inability to receive raw materials like meats, packaging materials, ingredients etc.needed in manufacturing due to the checkpoints leading to plant locations.
“Company shuttles for plant employees are being stopped,” They added. “Imported raw materials are held up at the port because customs brokers cannot go to the BOC [Bureau of Customs] to file the import entries because they are not authorized to travel.”
“We thus leave it to you and the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] to determine if our situation is salvageable,” they added.
Later on, however, PAMPI said this letter that was sent to Lopez “is not meant for public consumption”.