Business Day must be seriously short of material that it continues to regularly publish virtually identical articles about alleged poultry dumping into SA penned by FairPlay, a firm of paid lobbyists financed by local poultry.

Many of the failures by small poultry producers in this country were caused by the horrendous, exploitative brining practices of the monoliths in the industry.

Imports of chicken represent only about 14% of total consumption and are currently falling due to bird flu in most of Europe. Because of the current avian influenza in Zimbabwe, there is now a real fear of an outbreak in SA, yet we are short-sightedly attempting to curb imports, with the possibility of chicken shortages staring us in the face.

FairPlay is fully aware of the remedy open to local industry to combat alleged dumping, one it has utilised on a number of occasions in the past — launching an antidumping action via the International Trade Administration Commission of SA.

SA, with its excess poultry production, still has no coherent export policy despite the fact that both the EU delegation in SA and individual EU importers have offered to assist in opening doors to such opportunities. Certain local producers have declined to meet EU representatives to discuss exports to the EU, which would be duty free and highly competitive.

Strategic management decisions by local poultry companies to close or sell old uncompetitive plants are conveniently used by FairPlay to lambast imports.

David WolpertCEO, Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of SA

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