Poultry giants accused of gobbling up small timers

By Lal Gunesekera

Small and medium scale poultry industrialists faced the risk of being wiped out from the market within the next six months, All-Island Poultry Association (AIPA) president Dr. D. D. Wanasinghe said yesterday.

Dr. Wanasinghe, who is scheduled to resign from his post, at the end of December this year, told The Island that some large scale poultry industrialists had formed an association called the Poultry Industry Forum (PIF).

Dr. Wanasinghe, who has been president of the AIPA, since its inception in September 1996, said that his organisation has been registered with the Registrar of Companies. The PIF had warned most of the 750 members of the AIPA that their requirements of day-old chicks, feed etc., would not be supplied, he said.

President of the AIPA said that the small and medium scale poultry industrialists depended on the big timers for supplies and the PIF was pressuring others not to join the AIPA.

Some of the PIF industrialists include Bairaha, Prima, Maxies, Alankulama Green Ventures, Green Valley, New Anthony’s, Nelna, Switz and Weehena farms. They have asked for a 20-rupee price increase per kilo of chicken. The price of a kilo at the moment is Rs. 380 (with skin).

The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), by gazette notification on May 30, 2013, stipulated that the retail price of one kilo of chicken with skin (whole chicken or parts), without a brand name, should be Rs. 370, while the maximum retail price of a kilo of chicken, with skin with a brand name, should be Rs. 380.

Dr. Wanasinghe, however, noted that the prices in the market varied from Rs. 440 to Rs. 460 a kilo and even Rs. 570 to Rs. 600 for a 1.5 KG bird, while the prices of parts (legs, breasts, thighs etc.) were exorbitant.

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