Dyon A. Elliott
Belizean company, Quality Poultry Products Ltd, exports chicken meat to Grenada
It has been a long time coming, but for the first time Belizean chicken—produced by the well-known local chicken supplier, Quality Poultry Products Ltd (QPP)—has been added to the list of exported products making its rounds in the CARICOM market, having, as of this month, made its way to Grenada.
Speaking with Tradescape360 this week, QPP’s General Raymond Barkman shared his thoughts on the new milestone. “For me, this is an important step not just for Quality Poultry Products, but also for the country, because exports do help the country earn much needed foreign exchange,” he said. “Additionally, it has always been such a shame that Belize’s high-quality chicken hasn’t, before now, been shared with our Caribbean neighbors.”
Executed via a four-way partnership between QPP, BelCar Export & Import Co Ltd, the Spanish Lookout Community, and Western Diaries Grenada Limited (WDGL), just about 16,000 pounds of QPP’s chicken meat have successfully entered the ‘Isle of Spice’. Barkman explained that while QPP supplies the chicken products, it is WDGL—which was incorporated in Grenada two years ago under the Right of Establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)—that will be responsible for distributing the product throughout the Grenadian market.
Barkman shared that a lot of work has gone into getting Belizean chicken into the stores abroad. This included the earlier steps of having the processing facilities receive ready-for-export clearance from Caribbean Animal Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) in 2017. He also underscored the instrumental role played by the Government of Belize (GOB), especially as it pertains to having provided much needed policy- and diplomatic-level support. A December 24th GOB release stated that “[Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade] Hon. Eamon Courtenay and [Minister of Agriculture] Hon. Jose Mai held focused discussions with their Grenadian counterparts to secure market entry for the Industry”.
The milestone is even more noteworthy given that the Grenadian market has traditionally imported more than 60 percent of its poultry meat from Brazil and another 35 percent from the United States, neither of which enjoys any preferential tariff arrangement with the Eastern Caribbean country. Belize, of course, being a CARICOM member state does enjoy preferential tariff treatment, thereby, providing QPP with a useful competitive advantage, especially as it is hoped that the export volumes will increase over time.
In terms of market potential, it cannot be ignored that many other CARICOM countries likewise import large portions of their chicken meats from extra-regional source markets such as the United States (US). For instance, Barbados and Dominica, respectively, import close to 45 and 70 percent of this the same commodity from the US. A similar trend is observable in several other CARICOM member states such as Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica, and Suriname, who all import significant percentages of their chicken meat from the United States.