Retail giants did not pitch up for a public engagement on the crisis in the poultry industry in Parliament on Tuesday, and have been summoned to attend another one next week. Chairperson of the trade and industry portfolio committee Joan Fubbs said while the retailers had explained their absence it was not acceptable that they were not present. Pick n Pay, Shoprite-Checkers, Woolworths and Spar were invited to make submissions to the committee, which has been holding public hearings on the pressures faced by the poultry industry following reports of plant closures and retrenchments. The South African Poultry Association has blamed the flood of cheap imports of bone-in chicken portions from the EU for the problems but the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters as well as the EU delegation in SA have put the blame on the lack of competitiveness and structure of the domestic industry.

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