As part of its mandate to ensure fair pricing in the market place, 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 March 29th, 2020.
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 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 although two (2) pricing methods 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 the most 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 average national price per lb of $7.26 and an average pluck and gut fee of $13.53, a 5lb bird will cost the consumer $49.83 ((5lb x $7.26) + 13.53). 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 $49.83, the consumer will actually get a bird with a weight of around 4lbs after processing. Therefore, this translates to a final price of around $12.46 per lb for the actual bird.
Estimated final prices for other similar weights are shown below:
|Live Weight||Average price per lb $||Price per bird inclusive of pluck and gut* $||Dressed weight (20% loss)||Final price per lb to consumer $|
|6 lbs||7.26||57.09||4.8 lbs||11.89|
|5 lbs||7.26||49.83||4.0 lbs||12.46|
|4 lbs||7.26||42.57||3.2 lbs||13.30|
|*13.53 pluck and gut|
The Consumer Affairs Division 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.
- When purchasing frozen chicken at the supermarket, examine the expiry or “sold by” date on the packaging to ensure that it is fit for consumption.