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#467002 - 06/21/13 06:12 AM Eggs: A Precious and Scarce Commodity
Marty Offline

An outbreak of avian flu last summer in Mexico caused a drastic dip in production of eggs in that neighboring country.  As a result there was also a huge price increase.  The effect of that is now being felt in Belize, especially in the border districts.  Arturo Cantun reports on an egg shortage.


For the past month or so residents of Orange Walk, Corozal and Cayo have been experiencing a shortage of eggs, and when they locate a store that has eggs on sale it’s normally sold for a higher price than the normal.   By average eggs are sold three for a dollar or 8 dollars for a tray.  That has changed however, as the demand rises for the commodity.  Belize has two main egg suppliers, Country Food and Caribbean Chickens.  This morning we spoke with Manager of Country Food, Ervin Platt, who told us the shortage is because of the illegal flow of eggs from Belize over to Guatemala and Mexico where there is an egg crisis.


“The reason for this is because the prices for egg in Mexico and Guatemala are a quite a bit higher; so, the people come in and go around in the stores and buy eggs therefore the demand is higher now in Belize.”


“What is your company doing to keep supplying the higher demand in the country?”


“Well, we are not selling any hens at the moment, we are waiting until they get older so that we will have a higher supply; we have gotten quite a number of new hens but they will not starting production until in about a month but it should make a significant difference.”


“The second biggest supplier is Caribbean Chicken.  Manager, Isaac Bergen explained that they noticed a higher demand of eggs about six weeks ago.”


“It’s very difficult because people are asking for eggs all over; what we are trying to do is to make sure that people who buy steady with us that they are supplied as best as we can and we are working at increasing our production so we can supply our local market and we do not sell to anybody who we believe would take it across the border.”


“While egg farmers work diligently in supplying the high demand, eggs consumers in the country have been hopping from store to store in search of the indispensable commodity.”


“I have gone to all the shops but they don’t have and they don’t know when they will be getting.  I managed to get $3.00 eggs but the lady in the shop told me that because I am a regular customer that is why I got the eggs.  My family consumes about one tray of eggs weekly and this shortage is affecting me.”


“But what about the price we pay for eggs? According to Platt from Country Food the price of eggs is not as a result of the hike in demand but because over the years the egg farmers have been paying higher prices on chicken feed.”


“We have raised the price of eggs because for quite some time we have been trying to keep the price so that people can sell the eggs, 4 for one dollar which has not been happening in the stores for quite some time now.  We thought it was a little below what the price should be; we have been trying to keep it the same for some time but it has been very difficult for the farmers to do so.  Over the years, the price of chicken feed has been going up and down and the margin has grown less for what the farmers are getting.”


“Based on the information provided by both egg suppliers, an estimated 204,000 are distributed to the entire country on weekly bases.  It still does not compare to the Mexican demand where the country poultry industry states that Mexico consumes the most eggs in the world per capita.  Every Mexican consumes more than 430 eggs a year.” 


#467137 - 06/24/13 05:52 AM Re: Eggs: A Precious and Scarce Commodity [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Eggs Scarcity In The North

A recent outbreak of the “H7N3 virus” commonly known as the “Avian Flu” forced poultry farmers to destroy more than 2 million birds in the state of Guanajuato in neighboring Mexico this year and as a result has caused a massive decrease in the production of eggs in that same country.

But the issue is that it is now affecting our country, particularly the districts of Corozal, Orange Walk, and Cayo where a scarcity of eggs has been reported and as the demand for the product increases, so does the price. Eggs are generally sold 3 for one dollar or eight dollars a tray but today, residents can hardly find stores that do have eggs on sale and when they do find, one egg is sold at fifty cents.

But how has the recent outbreak in Mexico affected Belize, according to credible sources among the two million birds that were destroyed in Mexico, 1.1 million were laying hens and as you can imagine that resulted in a massive shortage of eggs in that country. But what is raising concern, is that the illegal trade of eggs from Belize to Guatemala and Mexico, have taken its toll on local consumers.

Today when we contacted the Belize Poultry Association for comment we were informed that President Orlando Habet was out of the country and he was the only one who could grant an interview. We were told; though, that on Monday the association will be issuing a press release on the matter. Of note is that more than two hundred thousand eggs are consumed by Belizeans on a weekly basis.

For many years people have shied away from eating eggs because of its cholesterol content studies show that eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories and is packed with 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat of which only 1 gram is saturated, and 13 vitamins and minerals.

The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.

These carotenoids may decrease the risk of age-related macular deterioration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.


#467246 - 06/25/13 04:53 PM Re: Eggs: A Precious and Scarce Commodity [Re: Marty]
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline

Why not just keep a few laying chickens? In rural areas free-range chickens are almost zero cost -- of course you'll lose a few to dogs and critters. I have Golden Comets. They're prolific layers, a dozen will give you probably 10 eggs a day, most of the year. Guineas are even better, though it's harder to find their eggs.

#467280 - 06/26/13 07:48 AM Re: Eggs: A Precious and Scarce Commodity [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
I love hearing the rooster every morning, but i don't do hangovers.
The dogs here seem to have come to terms with the chickens, its peaceful.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#468329 - 07/17/13 05:35 AM Re: Eggs: A Precious and Scarce Commodity [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Why Eggs Went Scarce

You may have noticed a shortage in eggs over the last 2 weeks at your local grocery store. And if you were lucky enough to find eggs, either the price was too high or you were only allowed to buy a certain amount. Well there were several reasons behind this egg shortage – President of the Belize Poultry Association, Orlando Habet, explained and told us that things are almost back to normal when it comes to the egg supply.

Via Telephone: Orlando Habet - Manager, Belize Poultry Association
"Currently there is a shortage, there was a significant shortage and right now the production is going up so that the supply is almost as much as it is used to be before the shortage commenced. Principally the shortage has come down - we had a few problems running where we lost some rare birds in April so the production was slightly low in the month of June and now in July. Secondly, the supply that we have, we have found that there is some from Belize because Guatemala has a shortage and so buyers come from across the border and go store to store to deplete the market and purchase them out. However the industry has put in place some measures as to alleviate the problem and one of them being that those that are grabbed at the end of the day have been kept for another two or three months so that they can continue making and also that has also caused an increase in the price because now the production cost a little bit more than the younger hens. Also we estimate that the problem will end because we normally have, throughout every year, there is a lower demand for egg during the two months vacation when the children are out of school - primary school that is in the month of July and August. Also we have been putting some new birds in March and they come to production just about now so that by the end of July towards the first week of August they are heading towards production so we anticipate that by end of July to the first week of August that the problem will be resolved."

Belizeans eat over 160 eggs per person per year.

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