Poultry prices fall

SOME SHOPS in Lisbon are selling poultry at rock bottom prices as sales plummet amid fear of bird flu.

This meltdown in the market is worrying the poultry industry, which generates 650 million euros a year and employs 30,000 workers. Around five million birds are normally slaughtered and deposited in markets every week, representing more than 6,000 tonnes of poultry.

Fernando Correia, president of Socampestre, a national collective of farms incorporating 240 bird producers, says they are already selling poultry at prices below production costs. Correia attributes the meltdown in sales to ignorance on the part of the public. He highlights the fact that, in the remote possibility of an outbreak, “national bird sanitation conforms to the highest EU and international standards”.

Correia says that 98 per cent of poultry produce falls under a strict vertical hierarchy of responsibility that oversees everything from production to slaughter. Correia says that problems only arise when birds produced in farms are sold in markets without proper sanitary controls, an area in which Correia says more stringent checks are needed