As part of its mandate to ensure fair pricing in the marketplace, the Consumer Affairs Division has been collecting live poultry prices from a sample of poultry depots throughout Trinidad. The prices listed below reflect prices collected January 21st– 24th, 2022.
It must be noted that the average price per pound (lb) is the ‘live weight’ price, which is the price before the chicken has been plucked and gutted. An additional fee is charged for plucking and gutting. Some poultry depots do not offer a separate live weight price and pluck and gut fee. Instead they offer a single ‘dressed weight’ price which is the price per pound after the chicken has been processed.
Consumers are advised that of the two (2) pricing methods that exist, there is no general rule of thumb that one method is better than the other. The better method will always be the one that offers more savings to consumers at the time of purchase. To illustrate this, assume a consumer wishes to purchase a 5lb chicken at a poultry depot that uses the live weight pricing method. Using the total average price per lb of $8.09 and an average pluck and gut fee of $14.57, a 5lb bird will cost the consumer $55.02 ((5 x $8.09) + $14.57).
However, it is estimated that, on average, 20% of the live weight of the bird is lost in the pluck and gut process. Therefore, when purchasing a 5lb bird for $55.02, the consumer will actually get a bird with a weight of around 4lbs after processing. Therefore, this translates to a final price of around $13.76 per lb for the actual bird. Estimated final prices for other similar weights are shown below:
||Average price per lb $
||Price per bird inclusive of pluck and gut* $
||Dressed weight (20% loss)
||Final price per lb to consumer $
|*14.57 pluck and gut
The Consumer Affairs Division would like the public to note that reports from the poultry industry indicate that it is currently faced with some challenges and shortages stemming from occurrences on the international market. Consequently, these challenges have resulted in higher prices for chicken at this time.
As always, the CAD is interested in safeguarding not just the economic well-being of consumers but their health interests as well. Accordingly, consumers are advised to always:
- Compare prices across poultry depots;
- Ensure that the premises of poultry depots are maintained in a sanitary condition and that there is running water;
- Ensure that handling is done in a safe and sanitary fashion;
- When purchasing chicken that has already been processed, ensure that the chicken is free of all entrails and is not discoloured.
- Ensure that you and the establishment you go to are employing all Public Health protocols; mask wearing, sanitizing, frequent washing of hands and social distancing.