April 22, 2008
Manager of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) owned abattoir at Prospect on Nevis, says while he is pleased with the public’ support for locally produced organic meats, the Department of Agriculture is busy trying to keep pace with the increasing demand for its products.
During an interview with the Department of Information on Tuesday April 22, 2008, two days before the Department’s grand Agriculture Open Day 2008, Mr. Garfield Griffin gave the assurance that the public would have a wide range and ample meat and meat cuts to purchase.
“We have a wide range of meat and meat cuts this year we have beef different cuts of beef, pork, mutton, sausages (pork and beef-seasoned and unseasoned), beef liver, mutton liver , tripe, ground beef, local chicken (raw and smoked), pigtails and pigs feet.
“We normally can’t have enough mutton [at the Open Day] but this year we have stepped up a few hundred pounds over what we have had in previous years so hopefully, we will be able to satisfy the needs of everyone in terms of mutton. In terms of beef and pork I think we have more than enough for everyone,” he explained.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Griffin said that there was a regular demand for mutton and ground beef but there was a glut on the market where pork was concerned. He said that although they had already ventured in to processing they were in the process of creating a greater line of products.
“The demand for local produce especially the mutton we can’t ever have enough. We have quite a lot of pork on the island right now almost to the point of a glut on the market but we have a very good off take.
“We are going into the production of more pork sausages and hams but there is some drawback with the smokehouse but that is on the cards right now looking into getting a proper smoke house. We have access to a small one but it is not suitable for commercial production but we are looking into getting a bigger smoke house so we can do more processing in terms of smoking,” he said.
In response to a question with regard to the level of support from the Tourism Industry, Mr. Griffin said they too have been using the locally produced meats.
“Quite a few of the local restaurants, beach as well as hotel are using our products specifically the ground beef. Some of them use the beef tenderloin actually we have been getting comments from expatriates and some hoteliers who say that the local tenderloin is the best they have had. So we have been getting the support.
“The businesses involved in the tourism industry have been using local meats,
The support is increasing. The ground beef and the tenderloins we just don’t have enough to supply the hotels, restaurants and so forth,” he said.
In 2007 the Department of Agriculture had embarked on a by local campaign to promote the organic nature of its meat products and Mr. Griffin indicated that the abattoir had taken pride in the presentation of its products.
The new certification, labeling and presentation were critical since the public gravitated toward purchasing goods which they knew had the Department of Agriculture’s seal of approval.