From January: SA must shut down dumped chicken imports to prevent industry collapse
Local poultry producers are efficient and world-class but cannot compete in an unfair environment, write Agmat Brinkhuis, Scott Pitman and Katishi Masemola
The South African chicken industry, a significant portion of the country’s maize industry and tens of thousands of jobs are under threat because large quantities of surplus chicken are being dumped in this market by other countries at prices way below their cost of production. Thousands of jobs have already been lost and chicken dumping is spreading misery in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and where each wage earner supports up to 10 people. Almost four years ago, the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) cautioned that 20,000 jobs could be lost if imports of cheap chicken continued. It said then that 5,000 jobs had already been shed at large and small producers. Since 2012, eight small to medium-sized poultry farms have closed. That trend has continued as the volume of imports has climbed. Producers are being forced into production cuts, jobs are being lost and more are at risk. The latest Sapa estimate is that 1,000 jobs will be lost for every...