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Market drop, maintenance issues causing meat center to struggle

Date Posted: 2010-01-07

When Nago City Meat Center was first built in 2003, it was a northern Okinawa dream business that was profitable and serving the local community.

Profits began lagging in 2008, and now the city-owned but privately managed company is struggling to stay afloat. Nago City Meat Center employs 125, and processes 150,000 pigs to market each year, but the selling price for pork has dropped, while livestock feeds are continuing to be more expensive. Add to that a deteriorating building, and the company is in trouble.

Earlier this year a ceiling was destroyed, with a section crashing down onto the flor. Officials say too much steam had gotten into the room, causing •30 million in damages. Other maintenance, plus addition of a boiler and construction of an outside toilet, has cost the company money is says it doesnít have.

The facility is anticipating a •50 million government subsidy, but to attain that goal it must generate an equal amount in its own budget. Officials say that hasnít happened yet, and therefore the subsidy may not filter in to help offset the mounting expenses.

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