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LETTER: SA doesn’t need surplus US chicken dumped here

The views expressed by US undersecretary for agriculture Ted McKinney on his trip to SA are uninformed, arrogant and regrettable. Despite the absence of subsidies and despite more expensive feed, the SA poultry industry is remarkably competitive.

The regions with the real problem are the US and the EU, whose consumers don’t eat the so-called dark meat, or leg quarters, and they are therefore continuously looking for dumping grounds for these surplus cuts.

Hence McKinney’s mission to Southern Africa. Dumping means these portions are sold in markets such as SA and other African countries at well below the cost of production. The landed price has nothing to do with the real cost of production, nor with efficiency.

It is also a fact that the US has been repeatedly found guilty of this predatory act of dumping by the independent International Trade Administration Commission. Importers profit from cheaper dumped portions, and consumers do not benefit. All that happens is that SA loses jobs in the process and money flows out of our country.

The industry is in close talks with trade & industry minister Rob Davies on the African Growth & Opportunity Act matter, and suffice to say we will remain patriotic supporters of what is best for SA and its industries. We invite McKinney to visit our facilities so he can gain first-hand insight into our world-class operations, where we indeed use the latest technology.

We don’t need the US’s waste and can produce our own chicken competitively, to the greater benefit of SA, its economy and citizens.

Marthinus Stander
Chairp: Broiler Organisation, SA Poultry Association

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