Paul still in foul mood over imported chicken wings

The vexing issue of the illegal importation of chicken wings reared its head again today as the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) complained bitterly that the practice was continuing unabated despite its repeated protests.

Not for the first time BAS Chief Executive Officer James Paul accused unnamed “unscrupulous importers” of bypassing the Barbados Agricultural Development & Marketing Corporation (BADMC) and were flooding the local market with chicken wings.

“We find it difficult to understand how there are other persons who seem to have access to chicken wings outside of the BADMC. If we are serious about agriculture and the preservation of jobs we cannot have a situation where persons within the private sector are prepared to act in a manner to compromise jobs in the sector,” Paul told journalists at a news conference at his office on Beckles Road, St Michael.

The issue became a major talking point after Paul complained at a hastily called news conference last month that a wholesaler had been flooding the market with chicken wings imported independently of the BADMC. He also called on the Ministry of Trade, the Customs Department and the Ministry of Agriculture to explain the alleged circumvention of the process.

The matter gained even more prominence after the authorities reportedly raided a property and destroyed several hundred pounds of wings.

An official source told Barbados TODAY at the time that the container load of chicken wings was smuggled through the Bridgetown Port and had become the subject of a major fraud investigation by the Customs & Excise Department.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss would later contradict them all, suggesting that the yet unnamed importer did not circumvent the process.

“A cursory check with my staff has indicated that the only entity for whom a licence has been issued to import chicken wings into Barbados is the Barbados Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation and I have no reason to believe that was not followed,” Inniss told journalists last month, even as he promised that the relevant authorities would investigate the matter.

However, Paul today suggested that the situation was getting worse and that local poultry farmers were being forced to sell chicken at record low prices.

“Some wholesalers are now offering two whole chickens for $10- never before seen. A whole chicken can now be bought in the market for $13. This is from a high last year when a chicken was being sold for $20 and $26. It shows the level of desperation in the industry. However, in the meantime importers are being allowed to bring in wings. Something is wrong here,” Paul argued.

Paul, a Government backbencher, expressed concern that the illegal importation was taking place during the Crop Over festivities when hotels were recording high occupancy levels.

He pointed out that farmers usually relied on Crop Over to secure good sales for their produce.

“Whether you are a poultry farmer or a pig farmer you are looking to take advantage of the Crop Over festival because this is the time when many visitors come from overseas. Many of the restaurants and the hotels are doing a lot of business, so farmers are not only looking to maximize sales to households, but they are also looking to maximize sales to businesses,” he said.

The BAS boss also complained that some businesses were importing okras, vegetables and pumpkins to sell to hotels and restaurants.

11 Responses to Paul still in foul mood over imported chicken wings

  1. Michael J. Koeiman
    Michael J. Koeiman July 23, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Me too, Paul. Aren’t agriculture and commerce related? I’m not understanding this situation at all. Do we want a thriving agricultural sector or not?

  2. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward July 23, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Mmmm I asked a lady the other day who works at chickmont if they have chicken wings she said she doesnt know. Why make a fuss when we hardly get them? Wings are kept for restaurants etc the big businesses. You dont normally go in the supermarket and see wings on the fridge. I think its selfish everyone should have access and not they supplying to certain people. So what if people get them imported smh. The government wont stop importing alot of unhealthy foods, some things shouldnt be imported in Barbados but they are, some hardly support local and when they finally do its a complaint because they dont want to pay for someones talented or skillful work but rather pay for artificle items its sad bout dis place stpzzz.

  3. harry turnover July 23, 2016 at 7:17 am

    The Don said that the importation was NOT ILLEGAL…..that it was imported through the CORRECT CHANNELS.

  4. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward July 23, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Its true mmmm its selfish thinking if you ask me sorry to say.

  5. Sherlock Holmes. July 23, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Why the fuss, everything that is locally produced is usually more expensive to us the local consumers,all of this so called protectionism for local goods does not pay off for the populace it is produced here yet you have to pay through your ribs to acquire it,i have nothing against local farmers but you all just do not have the ability to supply the chicken wings and it is a product that local consumers seem to want. Start supplying them and stop the damn belly aching.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine July 24, 2016 at 2:24 am

      The merchant class blamed the high cost of locally produce goods on the import taxes government imposes on those goods. In other words, locally produced goods are made from materials that must be imported before their are credited with a locally produced stamped. So to produce chicken wings that are affordable, the feed source to produce one bird with two wings would have to be a feed source from overseas that is cheaper, since the feed produced in Barbados has it materials imported from overseas. Paul is obligated to speak on the behalf of the BAS in a way that supports their ideals less he be subjected to another episode of ”Spent hen up for replacement”.

  6. Maureen Smith July 23, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    @Sherlock – ain’t that the truth! If I have just read the above article correctly, a chicken in Barbados last year cost around £6.66 – £8.66. Thank the Lord for the importer of chicken wings, as this may be the only way for Bajans to taste chicken.

  7. jrsmith July 23, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    I cannot get was is happening everything in Barbados seems to have corruption attached to it, a container smuggled out of the port loaded with chicken wings and what else..this is how the guns is getting into Barbados , who is losing they jobs . One day a dirty container with contaminated product is going to arrive in Barbados and this will cause serious medical problems to local bajans, you crooked people stop messing with Bajan people lives…

  8. Tony Waterman July 23, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    @harry turnover!!!!!That was a BOLD face LIE.if that were true, why were they subsequently destroyed???
    The last time a Government minister spoke without first checking, it cost us $77.000.00.

    @Sherlock Holmes.!!!! That is because EVERYTHING needed to bring those chickens to Market, has to be IMPORTED, and there are not enough YARD FOWLS to supply the population, even then if they were, they would be no one left to run the Government

  9. Johan Splizinski July 25, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Where is des chicken from? Did u not hear the song; “chickity china the chinese chicken have a drumstick and your brain stop ticken!” Enuf said

  10. Chris Wright July 25, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Hmmm. Did I read about “foul play” here? Why is it that more often than it should be, people who have merchandise in the port legally, has such a hard time getting it out of customs, yet chicken wings seem to ‘fly out’ in a hurry?


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