"Poultry industry can create 30,000 new jobs," says South African Poultry Association

SOUTH AFRICA - The South African Poultry Association says more people can be employed with the right support measures from the government and the curbing of imports
calendar icon 18 January 2019
clock icon 3 minute read

If the right support measures are put in place by the government, including curbing cheap chicken imports, the SA Poultry Association (Sapa) says the sector can immediately create 30,000 new jobs.

The sector employs about 130,000 people. However, it has shed hundreds of jobs in recent years, blaming this on an influx of cheap chicken imports particularly from the EU and Brazil. Brazil is the world’s largest poultry exporter.

The local industry and unions argue the EU and Brazil sell chicken meat below cost and have called on the government to intervene. But the EU and producers in the South American country have said their farmers are simply more competitive than their counterparts in SA.

Sapa recently approached the International Trade Administration Commission — the organisation tasked with customs tariff investigations, trade remedies, and import and export control — calling for an increase to the ad valorem tariff on bone-in and boneless frozen chicken portions to 82 percent from existing levels of 37 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Izaak Breitenbach, the newly appointed Sapa general manager, said on Wednesday the biggest challenge facing the broiler industry at the end of 2018 was the impact that dumping has had on the sector.

"Producers in Brazil, for instance, have financial incentives to export and there is great concern over the traceability of certain imports that are repackaged in SA, since some importers flout the legal requirements," he said.

"This is an industry that is immensely competitive internationally in terms of those elements of the value chain that it can manage or influence directly."

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