Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

A South African earning a minimum wage would need to work about six hours to afford a kilogram of beef. This is according to the online catering marketplace, Caterwings, which conducted a study on the global price of basic food items. It used the average price of meat in local retailers.

It would take just three hours for an average wager to earn enough to afford a kilogram of chicken. One would need to work for about 13.5 hours to have a kilogram of fish and about eight hours to have the same amount of lamb on the plate.

The study details the cost of meat in more than 50 countries worldwide. While South Africans are known for loving their meat‚ they are nowhere near the top of the log of the countries regarded as top meat consumers.

Australians come first‚ with one person consuming an average of 111.5kg of meat a year; the average South African consumes just less than 59kg. India has the lowest consumption at 4.4kg.

Despite the low prices of meat in countries such as India‚ someone on minimum wage would need to work almost a whole week to buy a piece of meat‚ while those in Norway would need to work less than a single hour on minimum wage to afford the same‚ Caterwings reported.

An article published by TimesLIVE last month revealed how South Africans were feeling the economic crunch with rocketing meat prices at retail stores. This study, however‚ suggests the country is not faring too badly on pricing.

With one being the most expensive and 50 being the cheapest‚ SA was placed 33rd overall in the ranking of each meat price. Switzerland had the highest prices‚ being 141.9% more expensive than the average cost worldwide.

"What began as a simple catering-cost price index for market research has raised some important questions," said Caterwings MD Susannah Belcher. "It is clear that international inequality exists‚ and as the world begins to re-think the implications of globalisation‚ this study clearly demonstrates that food prices ought to be on the agenda."

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