The Philippines is facing a shortage of traditional Christmas ham

  • Markets
  • Friday, 20 Sep 2019

MANILA: The Philippines will feel the effects of African swine fever in the coming holidays, according to a local industry group, warning the public of less processed meat in the market including Christmas hams.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors said some of its members have started to cut their output after local governments banned their products despite assurances that they are free from African swine fever and are safe for consumption.

Christmas ham production will be reduced by 15% to 20%, Jerome Ang, the industry group’s vice president, said in a press briefing in Manila. The government should continue to allow pork imports and issue guidelines on how to handle processed meat products, the group said.

Pigs from Quezon City in the capital region had tested positive of the disease which isn’t known to harm humans, the Agriculture Department said separately on Friday, adding that it will start quarantine and culling in affected areas.

Read More: Philippines Boosts Swine Fever Checks as Pigs Die in Capital The Philippines’ meat processing industry has an annual production of more than 300 billion pesos ($5.75 billion) and employs about 150,000 people. Reducing Christmas ham production will mean a cut in seasonal workers, Ang said. - Bloomberg

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