When a big player in the food industry starts to show distress, it is time to sit up and listen. The announcement that RCL Foods’ first-half headline earnings fell by more than a quarter, and CEO Miles Dally’s explanation that it is largely due to dumping, certainly underlines the dire situation the SA chicken industry finds itself in after a record year of dumping in 2018. What happens at the top of the value chain most certainly mirrors the picture lower down, and the effect of dumping on small-scale farmers is nothing short of disastrous. Brazil has now become the major threat to the SA chicken industry, and by extension the grain industry, which relies on poultry feed purchases for a large part of its income. In fact, the threat looms over the whole SA region, where the poultry industry is a major employer and a significant contributor to local economies and food security. As its other major markets have closed doors against Brazil due to food-safety concerns, this massive expor...

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