WHILE a bid for Fiji to resort to local meat produce will greatly benefit the economy, the country will still need to import quality prime meat cuts for hotel demand, says Leyland's Limited general manager Christopher Yee.
Mr Yee said the devaluation of the Fiji dollar added pressure to the local meat industry in regards to high overseas meat prices, but meat imports would continue –– especially beef and lamb.
He said butchers had to meet the demand of hotels, which required quality meat cuts from either Australia or New Zealand.
Mr Yee said the devaluation forced butchers to buy local meat produce.
"However, when we compare the quality in terms of prime beef or pork cuts for hotel quality, Fiji cannot cater for the demand," he said.
Mr Yee said Fiji had fairly good quality meat, but a long-term plan was needed so the country and industry could meet market demand.
"Fiji has fairly good quality pork meat, but the only time pork is imported is when special cuts are required for hotel demand," he said.
"We don't want to sensationalise the shortage as a disadvantage, but it is beneficial for the country."
A Government statement said beef production has declined in recent years despite a huge local demand.
The Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau is exploring building up breeding stock gene pool numbers; developing the beef industry in Fiji by addressing problems of meat quality, increasing volumes of production of individual farm holdings and increasing marketing opportunities.
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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