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Tax corned beef, says livestock stakeholders

Published:Monday | August 5, 2013 | 8:38 AM

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer



Two influential members of Jamaica’s livestock industry are calling for the imposition of an import tax on canned corned beef to resuscitate the ailing local beef industry.




The suggestion was made in response to a declaration by agriculture minister Roger Clarke that the Government intends to extend the current cess regime applied to the dairy sector to the imported fresh beef sector.



A portion of the cess on dairy products such as powdered milk goes to the Jamaica Dairy Development Board, for use in research and development.



This is what the agriculture minister is promising for the beef industry.



Clarke made the declaration during his address to the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in May Pen, Clarendon, yesterday.



However, corporate affairs manager of the Caribbean Broilers Group of Company, Dr Keith Amiel; and managing director of the Jamaica Livestock Association, Dr Henry Rainford, believe much more needs to be done.



They both believe that the import tax must be extended to corned beef to achieve the stated objective.



Rainford has suggested a $10 cess on each can of corned beef, while Amiel has mooted a two per cent surcharge on the canned products.



Amiel also wants this percentage extended to goat’s milk and imported mutton and goat meat.



He explained that Jamaica imports in the region of $100 million to $150 million worth of goat and sheep meat from New Zealand each month, which retails at much lower prices than local meats.



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