A good time to eat less meat

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Cypriots may think twice about eating meat after the butchers’ association warned of a 30% price hike on the wholesale cost of veal and beef, which will have a knock-on effect on consumers.

The announcement comes as Cypriot consumers have already seen the price of pork and chicken increase by 16%.

According to butchers, since January, the average price for pork fillet rose from €4.25 to €4.90 per kilo and for boneless pork from €4.60 to €5.20 per kilo.

The average price of a whole chicken went from €3.25 to €3.80, while chicken fillet increased from €7 to €8 per kilo.

The price of boneless and fat-free beef, which is sold at €10 per kilo, is expected to reach €13 unless butchers decide to absorb some of the increase.

Regarding the price of lamb, the average price in supermarkets is €6.50 per kilo, while neighbourhood butchers sell lamb at €9.00 per kilo.

Earlier in the month, animal breeders said the price hike is the inevitable outcome of increases in the cost of grain, petrol, packaging materials and electricity.

Not disputing the causes of the increase, butchers said this would harm their turnovers, impacting sales and consumers having to buy meat at much higher prices.

This will inevitably see demand drop with Cypriots eating less meat during the cost-of-living crisis.

Butchers argue they have been absorbing increases; however, these hikes significantly raise the retail price.

Higher prices leading to reduced consumption of domestic beef and increased imports will create problems for the animal husbandry sector and the supply of domestic beef, the butchers argue.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, the president of the Cyprus Butchers’ Association, Costas Livadiotis, said that they have repeatedly raised the issue with the competent authorities.

“We pointed out the need for an integrated state plan to support domestic meat production, market protection from oligopoly and monopoly, and the creation of conditions for healthy competition for the benefit of the consumers,” said Livadiotis.

He called for systematic checks of the entire production chain to the point of sale.