Poland seeks ‘urgent’ OK to export poultry to Philippines

The Philippines, particularly the local meat processing industry, has been scrambling for raw material supply, particularly of chicken mechanically deboned meat (MDM), as the government closed its borders to European suppliers following a series of bird flu outbreaks in their respective countries.

Poland is seeking “urgent accreditation” of its poultry exporters to the Philippines, emphasizing that it is capable of meeting the country’s meat supply requirement particularly of MDM chicken.

In a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Manila Chargé d’affaires Jarosław Szczepankiewicz reiterated the intention of Polish poultry producers to be accredited as exporters by the Philippines.

Szczepankiewicz pointed out that the date of inspection of Polish poultry plants had been postponed for years, thus, “blocking the possibility of Polish export” to the Philippines.

“From our point of view, the problematic issue is the access for Polish meat products. For many years, we have been striving to enter the Filipino market with our offer in the poultry and pork sectors,” he said in his letter dated June 8, a copy of which was obtained by the BusinessMirror.

The Polish diplomat noted that Philippine inspectors were slated to visit Poland at the end of April or beginning of May, but this has not materialized so far.  Based on Szczepankiewicz’s letter, there are about 31 Polish poultry meat exporters, 18 of which are producers of chicken MDM, awaiting accreditation from the Philippines.

“Once again we kindly request the Department of Agriculture to deploy the Inspection Mission to Poland as soon as possible considering the severe shortage of raw materials for processed meats threatening the Philippines’s food security,” Szczepankiewicz said.

“The current, very difficult situation on the meat market in the Philippines has shown that it is necessary to support supply with imports. Poland, as a respected and reliable exporter of meat products, can therefore be an excellent partner in ensuring the food security of the Philippines and even lowering inflation with its competitive pricing of meat products,” he added.

The Philippines, particularly the local meat processing industry, has been scrambling for raw material supply, particularly of chicken MDM, as the government closed its borders to European suppliers following a series of bird flu outbreaks in their respective countries. The temporary import bans resulted in the Philippines losing about 60 percent of its total poultry MDM supply.

In a bid to address the issue, the Department of Agriculture allowed meat processors to import chicken MDM from the Netherlands, the top supplier of the raw material to the Philippines.

Latest Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) data showed that the Philippines imported 664.357 MT of chicken MDM from Poland during the January to May period.

Last year, the Philippines imported 1,589 MT of chicken MDM from Poland, BAI data showed.

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