Wider pork supply, decreased quality
A legislator and pig farmers have warned that the quality of fresh pork might decline if Hong Kong’s supply market is expanded.
The government was recently urged to extend more support and introduce a long-term policy on agriculture in Hong Kong.
Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, who chairs the Legislative Council’s food safety and environmental hygiene panel, said the process of introducing more mainland fresh pork suppliers should have already begun.
“The chief executive has said very firmly he may ask the mainland authorities to allow more distributors to supply fresh pork to the SAR,” he said. “I believe the mechanism should begin immediately. We hope, at least, there’ll be more suppliers for the public to choose from.”
Currently, Ng Fung Hong – owned by mainland-backed China Resources (Holdings) and which has been operating in Hong Kong for more than four decades – holds the monopoly on live pig imports into the SAR.
However, lawmaker Wong Yung- kan, representing the agriculture and fisheries sector, said he was concerned about the quality of imported pork if the market is opened, adding that he is not opposed to greater competition, but that it is difficult to ensure the quality of pork with more suppliers. He said that local pig farmers already face tough competition in chilled pork and introducing more fresh pork suppliers will only add more pressure and make matters worse.
Hui Wai-kin, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Pork Traders’ General Association, said local pork could relieve the shortage and the government should also help Hong Kong farmers establish farms in the mainland to ensure a steady supply at stable prices.