Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Introduction of pork patty will boost production, create jobs

Published:Sunday | December 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
This youngster was seen having a patty for lunch at a school in Kingston.

Mother's Enterprises Limited is planning to invest some $57 million annually on local pork to produce its newest product, the pork patty.

The home-bred patty house came out with the new offer just over under a month ago and has already recorded an uptick in sales of the product, general director Carlysle Hudson, told Sunday Business.

"We introduced the Mother's pork patty as a result of customers requesting the product. Jamaicans, both locally and overseas, have been clamouring for a pork patty for many years now. Therefore, a wider survey was done, which propelled the introduction," Foreman said in emailed responses.

The company has partnered with Caribbean Broilers subsidiary Copperwood Pork, which itself is bracing for increased production based on market demand.

"We teamed up with Copperwood and the local pork farmers to offer (the patty). Pork is a favourite at Christmas, and the timing of this premium patty was just right," Hudson said of the expected impact for the Christmas period.

He said that based on proposed sales, the company expects to buy some 120,000 pounds of local pork at a cost of roughly $57 million annually.

Introduction of the product comes on the heels of pork processors and farmers jostling over the state of supplies in the local market.

But with supplies now inching up, president of the Jamaica Pig Farmers' Association Hanif Brown said consumers would not have any difficulty getting fresh pork or ham for Christmas, even as the association encourages other businesses to come up with ideas for other pork products.

While pork production is "still not where we really need it to be", the industry is rebounding steadily, Brown said.

Figures for the year's production to date are not yet available, but the agriculture ministry's prognosis is for production to outpace that of 2014, when some 8.2 million kilograms were produced.

For Mother's, the pork patty was originally intended to be a seasonal product, but judging by the "positive response from customers", it will be offered year round.

INCREASINGDEMAND

"The pork patty could fast become the number two selling patty in our restaurants. The customer demand is increasing daily," Hudson said.

"It is a truly innovative product and long overdue in Jamaica," the managing director said.

Corporate Affairs Manager at Caribbean Broilers Keith Amiel noted the shift in sentiments of the "fundamentalists", who once shunned the sale of pork products alongside other protein products, as an impetus to the traction the pork patty has taken on.

"I expect that because Mother's now has gained an advantage over the other patty producers, it won't be long before they will also attempt to join the (pork) patty production business," Amiel reasoned.

"Its a boost to production. The patty is a convenience food that lends itself to distribution to small stores and restaurants all across the island. To feed it, we are going to have to increase the amount of pigs being produced out there, which means more employment and better availability of animal protein sources for the population," Amiel said.

Mother's declined comment on the revenue impact expected from the new product, but sees the new pork patty as "a new avenue for local pork production and consumption in Jamaica, which could increase substantially as more persons fall in love" with the product, it said.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com