Outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Belarus have led to a sharp drop in demand for pork, according to local market players.
Consumers believe that shelves could be full of infected meat and refuse to buy pork in favour of other types of meat. As a result, over the past month the price of pork dropped from BRR26 thousand (US$2.9) per kg to BRR20 thousand (US$2.2) per kg.
“The cost of pork of being 26 000 rubles per kilogram - was so long time ago. Now it is very cheap – only about 20 000 per kilogram. Price decline happened due to the oversupply of products on the market. There are a lot of meat and a lack of the demand – that has resulted in the drop in prices,” commented Victor Tikhanovich, a representative of a local pork producer Vian Agro.
Vian Agro says there is no doubt that despite consumer fears, contaminated meat will not make it to market shelves.
“You will not find meat contaminated with African Swine Fever virus in shops and markets. In fact you cannot even imagine how many tests are carried out before products will go on sale. There are lab studies of products immediately after slaughter, while another one check is conducted before the meat is sent to the store,” he adds.
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