Barbados could turn to Jamaica to fill gap as supply remains low 

Barbados is examining the possibility of sourcing eggs from Jamaica to fill the current severe shortage.

And Barbados TODAY understands that Government officials could be developing a new policy to help in the sourcing of the commodity going forward.

When contacted, chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul declined to comment.

However, a report in The Gleaner in Jamaica today suggested that the BAS had made contact with the Jamaica Egg Farmers Association about a week ago with an initial enquiry for 300,000 table eggs.

President Roy Baker said the association was still awaiting word from the BAS on whether it would accept 200,000 eggs.

The newspaper quoted Paul as saying that the deal was in limbo since the BAS was trying to ascertain the feasibility of doing business with Jamaica rather than the US. He also said he would prefer to do business with a Caribbean country, if the price was right.

“The price would have been a big factor because, remember that we also import from out of Miami, so Jamaicans would have to compete with that, so that would have been a consideration,” he told The Gleaner.

“But the thing is that no firm decision has been reached at the moment in terms of the eggs. At this stage, I can’t tell you that we are proceeding as it stands right now. We are waiting for a reaction in terms of what type of price we would need to source them out of Jamaica, in order to facilitate the order.”

Baker told the newspaper the one-off order would have been a welcome opportunity for Jamaica which had been eyeing Barbados for some time and would be willing to take a loss on the shipment, just to get a foothold into the regional market.
Meantime, one local industry source told Barbados TODAY a report from the Ministry of Agriculture on the matter could be forthcoming as early as tomorrow.

“You’ve got to look to CARICOM first, in any case, before you can look to anybody else . . . ,” he said.The source confirmed that the shortage of layers had contributed to the shortage of eggs here, but said that was being “sorted out”.

“We have the eggs already and we are hatching the chickens and they will be put in place soon. Last year we had a difficulty in getting the hatching eggs in time to hatch them for last year. We were about six months behind, but we have them now,” he said.

He also noted that the price of eggs in the US had gone up “and the availability of eggs has been very short”.

Over the 2014 Christmas season, the majority of the hotels and restaurants in Barbados were affected by the shortage but the supply to that industry had been restored. The shortfall was eased following the importation of about 900 cases, or an estimated 324,000 eggs.

President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sunil Chatrani confirmed that the group’s members were getting a steady supply.

“Some members were affected in December and we contacted the Barbados Agricultural Society and arrangements were made where the hotels would basically be secured in terms of receiving their supplies of eggs. So the hotels have not had any problems since. I have not had any complaints from those hotels or restaurants,” he said.

However, it was a slightly different tune from at least one of the island’s most popular supermarket chains. A supervisor at Carlton A1, who did not want to be identified, told Barbados TODAY that as quickly as the eggs were put on the shelves they were sold.

Although she could not say how much supply had been reduced by, she noted that the supermarket was not getting the usual amount. 


6 Responses to EGG SEARCH

  1. Baje for ever
    Baje for ever February 6, 2015 at 1:42 am

    …What a Shame.

  2. Carl Harper February 6, 2015 at 2:39 am

    “When contacted, chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul declined to comment.”

    No one should be suprised that Paul has suddenly gone dumb. After Donville Inniss put him in his place over the same importation of eggs, the BAS CEO has been very silent on the egg shortage and importation.

    Mr Paul does not have one iota of empirical or statistical evidence to substantiate his emotive claims on egg or chicken production. When UWI embarrassed him by showing in a study that local poultry farmers controlled 96 per cent of the chicken market and a meager four per cent importation of chicken wings could not threaten the viability of local farmers, he recoiled and went after the BAMC which commissioned the study.

    Paul later said: “One of the things that the industry would be looking to introduce is a product forecasting system . . . .”

    What has Paul been doing every day for the past several years other than running his mouth? A forecast system should have been in place long ago. He pulls numbers or quantities “out of a hat” as though he is some magician.

    The egg and poultry producers messed up big-time in the supply of eggs and chicken for Christmas. Paul had no idea of the usage or demand at that peak period since he does not rely on empirical data and scoffs at research. The BAS is a colossal waste of time and is only trying to shift its inefficiency onto customers.

    Paul said last month that the shortage of eggs was due to a “mechanical” problem in October and “moulting” of chickens. Then BAS president Carlyle Brathwaite said that higher than normal demand for eggs was driven by an increase in the number of people purchasing cakes and pastries. In other words, Bajans greedy and eating too much sweet stuff. Yet Brathwaite was at the same time boasting about supplying cruise ships with eggs.

    Paul and Brathwaite should make sure they have their excuses correct, otherwise they will continue to look like incompetents at the BAS.

    It was Paul’s own BAS that imported the 960 cases of eggs that was still too few to satisfy the local requirements for the Christmas season. This shows he does not have his finger on the pulse. Now that we know Brathwaite is trying to cover BAS tracks too, both he and Paul should resign or, better yet, close the doors of the Society. Not even that simple egg importation exercise could the BAS get right.

    The problem with suppliers in Barbados is the inability to supply a consistent quality and amount of any product throughout the year. BAS expects businesses to sit idle and wait for them to “iron out” their frequent problems, while customers and visitors to the island must grin and bear it.

    Yet Paul wants to supply Sandals with local produce and expects other hotels to be locked into a MOU to by local, only. BAS is bunch of jokers!

  3. Carl Harper February 6, 2015 at 4:43 am

    ***Yet Paul wants to supply Sandals with local produce and expects other hotels to be locked into a MOU to buy local, only. The BAS is a bunch of jokers!***

  4. Tony Webster February 6, 2015 at 6:47 am

    We have a “MOU” with Sandals, to sell them lots and lots of lovely, fresh, agricultural produce…in addition, to trying to bully the BHTA membershiop to do similarly. If my information is correct, we have also arranged to supply Sandals’ 14 restuarants with natural gas. We are also on record, as a matter of policy, to cater to those cruise-ships which base-port here, with all their ship-chandlery needs. All huge opportunities, for sure.
    I hope we are serious about meeting such requirements, and honouring our committments, as these guys don’t play “hopping-ball” cricket when it gets down to core-business requirements.
    They play “hardball”… OK?

  5. ian brathwaite February 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I’m not sure of the management of the poltry production but, It seems that if management would do a projection and use a sliding scale it would see the highs and lows of demand. Let the hotels commit to a quantity for the seasons and the same for the bigger supper markets. With the main players needs satisfied, the local shops and entrerpreneurs should be able to get their supplies easily.Barbados is a small Island that should not be importing eggs from any other country.Allowing even the smallest farmer government grants to produce will even ease the unemployment and allow work for the ones who are will to contribute to the stability of the economy.

  6. jr smith February 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    When are we going to grow up in Barbados, we seems never ever to be self sufficient in any dam thing.


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