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Bahamas Poultry Suffering High Feed Prices

by 5m Editor
22 July 2008, at 6:32a.m.

BAHAMAS - The country's only large-scale chicken producer has been left with little more than hope as a means of coping with a 40 percent hike in feed prices, opting to pass only a fraction of those expenses onto customers.

Over the last year, Ray Jones of Bahamas Poultry and Sunshine Farms GB has slowly been watching the price for his chicken feed hike by first 10-, 20-, 30- then 40 percent. Unfortunately for Jones, bringing those costs in line is out of his control. Local farmers have little alternative but to buy the product, largely corn based, from overseas. Those import costs have almost tripled within a year.

"It's all controlled by the U.S. growers and what happens there," Jones told Guardian Business in an interview yesterday. "We're hoping that there will be some relief soon, fertilizer has increased 27 percent, corn itself has gone up 41 percent, soybean 97 percent, fuel increases gone up 61 percent."

The spikes have been largely driven by the diversion of grain for alternative fuel production and increasing world demand to feed a world population increasingly with the economic means to pay for it. Bahamians are now grappling with a 3.7 percent spike in food prices, in large part driven by that same diversion of soybean and corn. It's a move that also has created grain shortages.

5m Editor