Jobs at risk in South Africas poultry sector

by Editor
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

About 20,000 jobs could be lost if government does not clamp down on the import of low-quality chicken, the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) said.

Government needed to act decisively on imports from Brazil and the European Union, specifically.

The impact imports had on the local industry was devastating.

SAPA CEO Kevin Lovell said South Africa had one of the most unprotected markets in the world and the EU and Brazil were taking advantage of this by dumping massive quantities of cheap chicken. SAPA senior executive Sol Motsepe said other African countries had stricter import rules.

In March, the SAPA applied for an increase in import duties, which the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (Amie) said could be anything up to 82%, from 24%.
The International Trade Administration Commission of SA (Itac) would review the SAPA's application and make a decision.

Amie said it opposed an increase because higher import duties would make prices higher for consumers, whose only source of protein, in many cases, was chicken. It was also concerned that this could cause job losses among the 15,000 people who cut, repackaged and distributed the imported chicken. Amie would file an application at the High Court in Pretoria related to import duty costs, it said.