Union Resolves to Protect Local Firms from Poultry Imports

SOUTH AFRICA - The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) leadership held an informative and insightful meeting with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the three major poultry companies (i.e. Rainbow Chickens Division, Astral Food Poultry and Country Birds) and the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) on 1 February 2013 regarding challenges facing the sector, especially the impact of the Brazilian chicken imports.
calendar icon 8 February 2013
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It was in this meeting that certain facts and figures were laid bare. A few are summarized as follows:

  • That the broiler industry employs 48 000 people directly and 60 000 indirectly

  • The poultry sector, or agricultural GDP sub-sector by 25 per cent, uses about 33 per cent of locally consumed maize and almost all soya oilcake with other 18 000 jobs linked to this poultry utilization

  • That small and medium poultry farmers have gone bankrupt leading to disappearance of 2 000 jobs with large manufacturing have shed at least 3 000 jobs in the past few years

  • Of the 272 small poultry farms surveyed by SAPA in November 2012 half have ceased operating and four of the medium-sized producers (Sangiro, Darling, Berwin, and Argyle) have gone bankrupt and for those lucky to remain they could cut back production by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent

  • That imports are now the biggest source of poultry supplies in the country thereby surpassing the biggest South African poultry company in Rainbow Chickens

  • That while Brazil’s composition of all the imports’ country of origin has fallen from 73 per cent in 2010 to 52.5 per cent in 2012, this does not mean the volume of Brazilian imports has gone down as much of it remains re-routed via European Union (EU)’s jurisdictions hence partly explaining the rise of imports from EU from 5.4 per cent in 2010 to 31.6 per cent. the other reason for increased imports from EU is the pure dumping that happens due to over-supply

  • That South Africa’s poultry is not allowed as an export to neighboring countries and much of the world due to various policy and other decisions or reasons by these countries

  • That the cost of feed, arising from the discredited price-formation of maize at the Chicago Board of Trade, has gone up significantly owing to a ton of maize leaving South Africa at half a price and imported back at double an exported price.

FAWU plans to leave no stone unturned in getting South Africa's poultry saved from total collapse.Indeed, FAWU will not allow for de-industrialization of one or more of agricultural processing.

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