POULTRY PROCESSORS have called for the government to intervene and buy up surplus chicken that no longer has a market because of the coronavirus crisis.
The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) said that, with the collapse of the foodservice sector, chicken was stalling along the supply chain.
Issues with accreditation, logistics and bird specifications have meant that transferring poultrymeat from smaller slaughterhouses to retailers has proved difficult.
See also: Independent poultry processors struggle to sell poultry
And that, with a record few weeks for retailers’ sales, shoppers would now mostly be stocked up on chicken – meaning that an opportunity for smaller processors to plug gaps in major retailers’ supply chains had now passed.
An AIMS spokesman said the organisation was calling on the government to buy up the surplus, and engage catering butchers and other foodservice operators to prepare poultrymeat for vulnerable consumers.
“Local councils are supplying 1.5 million food parcels across the country. We would like to see the government intervene in the market and buy up the birds.”
Offering a chicken in every food parcel would solve the shortage “overnight”, he added.
Beyond offering chicken as part of food parcels, the government should consider buying up surpluses and cold storing meat until the market normalises, the spokesman said.