Chicken Industry

Abysmal jobs numbers should spur state to protect chicken industry, says Fairplay

First published in the Business Day.

An organisation which aims to fight predatory trade practices and dumping says the latest unemployment statistics should act as a spur to government and to efforts to protect the chicken industry against unfair trade which has already cost thousands of jobs.

Fairplay said on Wednesday thousands of jobs could be created in the poultry sector by replacing chicken imports with local production.

Earlier in the week, Stats SA revealed abysmal unemployment numbers. SA’s official unemployment rate increased to 29% in the second quarter of the year, the highest jobless rate in more than a decade.

“As South Africa’s horrific unemployment rate reaches new record levels, politicians and policymakers should take an urgent look at the opportunities offered by SA’s chicken industry,” said Francois Baird, founder of FairPlay.

“We have frequently highlighted the opportunities that could be realised were the chicken industry enabled to expand and create jobs, particularly in poor rural areas where unemployment is highest.

“Those opportunities remain blocked because the floods of dumped chicken imports have stolen so much market share that industry expansion can’t happen. Thousands of local jobs have already been lost, and company profits are down, while the industry awaits the outcome of an application for tariff protection against this unfair and predatory trade, particularly from Brazil,” said Baird.

SA’s poultry sector has recorded a jobs bloodbath in recent years and has ascribed its demise to cheap chicken imports from Brazil, the US and Europe.

Read the rest of the article on the Business Day. By Bekezela Phakathi. 31 July 2019.