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Main Topic: A Follow up Visit to a Poultry Factory

Hosts: Clyde Warden

In this episode, Clyde revisits the poultry factory in central Taiwan. Last time he was there, the factory was just passing its initial inspection. Now, a year later, the factory is ramping up production. Show 13 (Are You Chicken) introduced the importance of poultry in Chinese consumption, andshow 14 (Poultry Channel Switching) presented detailed research on how Chinese consumers switch between wet market and supermarket for poultry purchases depending on the consumption setting and ritual influences.

On the day of Clyde's visit, the factory was still running far under capacity as the owner was slowly rounding up orders. Attempting to fill some of that capacity, the business branched out to geese. Not as mainstream as chicken, geese are still very common in Chinese meals and there is a higher profit margin for geese. Supply and demand play a role in this decision as most chicken producers would be linked in with chicken suppliers. The factories keep a buffer of chickens on site, but are, for the most part, dependent on JIT arrival of chickens. The owner we visited was cutting supply costs by raising his own geese while having a ready supply to put into his factory when market prices peak and just to suck up capacity during slow periods.

This channel is the high processing channel of poultry production (see show 14). This specific factory Clyde has been following from it beginnings as a home operation, to its successful wet market sales, and finally to this factory stage. Although the government has encouraged the move to factory poultry production, things have not gone smoothly. The value placed on poultry freshness makes it politically difficult to stop the use of live chickens within wet markets. Chinese consumers simply prefer it. Clyde attended a number of government meetings in Taiwan where the agriculture department discussed methods of halting the sale of live poultry in wet markets. While the bureaucrat thought it would be an easy task, Clyde raised the possibility that such sales would simply get moved to the back of the wet market--a situation that would be even more dangerous for cases such as Avian Flu. It turned out that putting a stop to the wet market channel was not easy, and the Taiwan government has all but given up trying, putting our factory owner in a bit of a bind. Without the consumer market, factories like this are left finding creative ways to employee their huge capacity. At the end of this video, Clyde shows just such way, with shredded meat, a popular breakfast food.

Listen To The Show (Audio Only):

Length: 12 minutes. Download MP3 5.71MB (Right click->Save As).

On Location

Watch The Show (Video & Audio):

From Chu Shan, Taiwan, Clyde.
Length: 12 minutes.

iPod Download MP4 86.86MB (Right click->Save As).
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High Quality mp4 H.264(640x480) Download high quality mp4 89.49MB (Right click->Save As).

Category: Videocasts

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