New restrictions on subsidised chicken

May 13, 2013

By Ahmed Al Omari


CUSTOMERS are facing new restrictions on buying subsidised chicken due to inconsistent supplies.

Butchers at three major supermarket chains confirmed stocks were being rationed to between two to five chickens per person in cases of severe shortages.

It comes as demand for Delmon Poultry chickens has rocketed due the rising prices of Saudi chicken and varying levels of supply.

Although there are no specific shortages of chicken in the market, people have to pay 250 to 500 fils a kilo extra when the subsidised meat runs out.

“The sales are controlled when the supply gets low, but these days supply has been okay,” said an Al Jazeera supermarket butcher. “There are times when the supply we receive is limited for example if we only get 50 chicken then we will institute the policy.

“But if we get 200 chickens then people can buy as much as they want.”

The butcher explained the restrictions on Delmon Poultry chicken was to ensure everyone had the chance to buy some.

“We have to be fair to all the customers as this chicken comes daily,” he said.

Two other supermarket chains, with a total of seven branches around the country, confirmed they were also rationing chicken when supplies ran low.

Delmon Poultry supplies around 20 per cent of Bahrain’s demand for chicken.

Assistant general manager Khalil Ebrahim Al Derazi said the company was already operating at maximum capacity, but was ready to expand with government support.

“We cull and distribute an average of 31,000 birds a day and those chains that buy the chickens sell out daily,” he said.

“We are actually producing chicken at the maximum capacity that the factory can handle.

“The main issue in supply is with the farmers as we rely on the farmers to bring us the chickens for slaughter.”

Delmon Poultry operates a slaughter house and hatchery, which distributes an average 185,000 chicks a week to farmers.

They are raised and sold back to the factory when they have matured.

Mr Al Derazi said the company was ready to grow, but required more land and government subsidies to accommodate any increase in production.

“People like fresh chicken that is slaughtered that day and the price of our chicken is the lowest in the market so it sells out fast,” he said.

“We are able to expand but the main issue is land as there is no space for our hatcheries to expand and if we do expand it we will need to upgrade the factory to deal with the higher numbers of birds coming in.

“Also if we are producing more chicken and all the chicken is subsidised then the government will have to increase the subsidies on the chicken as the numbers will increase.” Courtesy Gulf Daily news

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