MANILA, Philippines – During the Holy Week, millions of Filipinos observe traditions and sacrifices, including abstinence from eating meat – a form of penance for some Catholics during the Lenten season.
After all, the Philippines is the 3rd largest Catholic country in the world, home to at least 75 million Catholics, according to a 2010 study conducted by United States-based Pew Research Center.
But just how much of a meat-eater is the Philippines? Rappler takes a look:
Filipinos consume more pork than the global average.
Lechon, Sisig, Pork barbecue. These are only some of the favorite pork dishes Filipinos enjoy. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a Filipino consumes about 14.2 kg of pork, two kg more than the world’s average pork consumption.
Next to pork, the average Filipino consumes about 11.6 kg of chicken and 3 kg of beef or veal.
In total, a Filipino consumes about 28.8 kg of meat yearly. (READ: What are the top 20 food products consumed by Filipinos?)
In 2016, the Philippines produced nearly 5 million kilograms of meat.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a total of about 4,958 metric tons, or nearly 5 million kilograms of meat was produced in 2016. That beats the Guinness world record for the heaviest object weighed, which is the Revolving Service Structure of a NASA launchpad located in Florida, USA.
Pork is consistently the most produced meat, followed by chicken, chicken eggs, cattle, and carabao.
However, the chicken population is greater than pork.
Pork-lovers Filipinos may be, inventory levels show that there are more chickens than hogs in the country.
In Metro Manila alone, about 20 million kilos of chicken is consumed per month in 2014. (READ: After #ChickenSad, DA says ‘no chicken supply shortage’)
Latest figures from PSA put the chicken population at about 178.77 million as of January 1, 2016.
The top chicken-producing regions in the Philippines are: Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4A (Calabarzon), and Region 10 (Northern Mindanao). They contribute about 65% of the country’s total production.
In the same period, inventory levels for other meat products were as follows: 11 million hogs, 10 million ducks, 5 million cattle and carabao, and about 3 million goats.
Meat consumption is a trillion peso industry.
As of 2016, the production of pork raked in about P116 trillion according to PSA. This was followed by the production of chicken products, which was valued at about P94 billion.
The biggest Filipino companies that are part of the demand and supply chain include food and drinks conglomerate San Miguel PureFoods, poultry integrator Bounty Agro Ventures, and fastfood chains Jollibee and McDonald’s.
In 2015, San Miguel PureFood’s agro-industrial business segment saw revenues of about P70 billion. This included sales from company brands Magnolia and Monterey, which cater to the company’s poultry, fresh meats (pork and beef), and animal feeds business.
Bounty Agro Ventures, the company behind lechon manok brands Chooks-To-Go, Uling Roasters, and Reyal, reported about P10 billion in 2015.
Fast-food giants Jollibee and McDonald’s saw revenues of about P5 billion and P760 million, respectively. Sales from Jollibee include those earned from the group’s fast-food chains Jollibee, Mang Inasal, Greenwich, and Chowking.
Chickenjoy, a deep-fried chicken dish, is among Jollibee’s bestsellers, making it among the biggest buyers of chicken in the country. (READ: Inclusive growth? Jollibee cites ‘Chickenjoy’ supply chain)
Jollibee recently teamed up with US agro firm Cargill to build a poultry processing plant to augment some of the dressed and marinated supply needs of its fastfood outlets.
Chicken supply became a concern in 2014 when a strong typhoon affected Jollibee’s producers, forcing some 72 outlets to close for days. On social media, #ChickenSad became a trending topic among dismayed customers. – Rappler.com
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