CAIRO: The Egyptian Chamber of Tourist Establishments (ECTE) has ordered all food outlets and tourist enterprises to boycott red meat on April 26, protesting the recent hike in prices that pushed 1 kg of meat to LE 80 in certain areas.
“As a board of directors, we believe that this is a civilized reaction, chairman of ECTE Wagdy El-Kirdany told Daily News Egypt, adding that the decision is the chamber’s way of showing “empathy towards the Egyptian people.
“Newspapers and talk shows have repeatedly called for a boycott but nothing happens, said El-Kirdany, adding that the chamber is the only entity with the legal means to enforce such a boycott.
Last month, locally produced meat across Egypt almost doubled in price, and local officials have struggled to explain reasons for the sudden hike. Some blamed private butchers while others claim the rise originated from cattle traders.
In local press, Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza referred to the current price of meat as “crazy .
“We hope that this decision will affect the prices [of red meat]. We have never seen such a hike in prices for no reason, El-Kirdany said.
He explained that 1,500 outlets purchase around 300/400 kg of red meat per day. “If they all stop purchasing meat for one day, there will be excess supply which will inevitably lower the prices.
The boycott also means that such outlets won’t serve meat on this day, according to El-Kirdany.
When asked about the penalty for establishments that breach the chamber’s decision by serving meat on April 26, El-Kirday told Daily News Egypt that according to the law “the maximum punishment would be to close the establishment down.
He ruled it out as an extreme measure, however, insisting that most institutions will respect the decision.
“If they don’t, and one day [proves] ineffective, we will consider prohibiting serving red meat for one week, he added.
El-Kirdany said that on Thursday an announcement of the boycott will run in all local newspapers. In addition, hotels and food outlets will hang up announcements to notify their clients of the boycott day ahead of time.
He said that some restaurant owners were worried that the boycott would turn away foreign customers.
“On the contrary, I think foreigners will welcome the decision. . We will still be serving all kinds of white meat, El-Kirdany said.