Iranian consumers can buy frozen beef on the internet, Reza Salemi, director of the government’s Livestock Support Company, said on February 7. According to Mr. Salemi, online stores “Yakhchal” and “Behroozressan” offer frozen beef for sale on their websites.
While Behroozressan has informed its customers about the new government scheme on its online supermarket (https://beroozresaan.com), Yakhchal has yet to launch its website.
“One of the online grocery stores offers frozen Brazilian beef, whole frozen chicken, a box of 30 frozen chicken wings and eggs on its website,” Salemi said. “All food prices follow the government’s guidelines.”
A few hours after Salemi’s announcement, ISNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), reported that the government “might abandon the plan for the internet sale of frozen beef in favor of an entirely different scheme.”
Citing an unnamed official at the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, ISNA said: “The government has not decided yet. There is a strong possibility it will dismiss the idea altogether because it cannot sell such a massive amount of frozen beef on the internet. Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad are discussing various proposals to make frozen beef readily available to consumers, so they will not have to stand in long queues. One of the proposed ideas calls for better distribution of food products in certain communities which badly need help. The government will announce a plan soon.”
The head of Iran’s livestock exporters, Mansour Pourian, recently said that the residents of Tehran, who previously bought frozen beef, chicken, and eggs using their national ID card, can now purchase a limited amount of those food products from online supermarkets by providing their postcodes.
After prices of beef, chicken and eggs rose, to $28, $4 and $2 per kilogram respectively, the government tried to preempt public outcry by setting up centers to distribute frozen meat and poultry products. The plan, however, backfired, because it created long queues outside the designated shops.
The scheme also limits the amount of meat and poultry that a family can buy because it is based on a household’s postcode rather than size. According to the plan, consumers should have been able to buy a kilogram of frozen Brazilian lamb meat, domestic beef, and chicken for $7, $12 and $2.5, respectively. However, there were no beef or poultry available for sale on the day the government rolled out the scheme.
Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi