11 July 2024

Pig farmers are demanding that the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives aggressively cracks down on unscrupulous traders, who have been flooding the domestic market with smuggled pork which, they claim, will ruin the country’s pig rearing business in the long run.

The demand was addressed to Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on by the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand and pig farmers’ associations, representing farmers in five regions of the country.

Surachai Sutthitham, president of the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand, told the media yesterday (Tuesday) that smuggled pork is normally sold in markets at between 130 and 135 baht/kg, compared to 190-200 baht/kg for locally-produced pork.

He claimed that up to 90% of bar-b-que outlets are using smuggled pork, so they can offer their buffet sets at cheaper prices. He also said that pig farmers are now raising one million pigs to meet local demand, but he warned that they will suffer from unfair competition if the smuggling of pork is allowed to persist.

A representative of the Ratchaburi pig farmers’ association, meanwhile, said that the production cost of one pig is about 1,000 baht, forcing the farmers to sell their pigs at an ex-farm price of between 80 and 100 baht/kg. This translates to a 190-200 baht/kg retail price.

Since early this year, officials of the Livestock Development and Customs departments have conducted 2,425 seizures of pork, smuggled into Thailand from Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Lao PDR.

325,027kgs of smuggled pork, worth about 65 million baht, have been destroyed to date, but pig farmer associations claim that more than 1,000 containers of smuggled pork have been delivered this year.