AMIE re-evaluates its role in poultry the master plan

Will chicken importers pull out of the poultry master plan?

In its April newsletter, AMIE sets out its strategy for 2022, and invites “conversation and dialogue” from its members. The second item under key focus areas for 2022 is “Poultry Master Plan: AMIE to re-evaluate our participation in the PMP.”

Together with the government, poultry producers and trade unions, AMIE was a signatory to the master plan in 2019. The decision to re-evaluate participation will come as no surprise to those who have watched AMIE criticise the master plan and attack anti-dumping duties and import tariffs which are among the plan’s key objectives.

The problem for AMIE is that the master plan aims to curb the chicken imports from which its members make a living, and to stop dumping and illegal trade. The objective is to revitalise a South African poultry industry it says is “distressed” because of a flood of imports. It would expand local production for the domestic and export markets, creating some 5 000 jobs.

A previous CEO of AMIE, David Wolpert has said it was “stupid” for importers to sign the plan, which he said was akin to “turkeys voting for Christmas”.

Now the proverbial turkeys are re-evaluating that vote. The outcome will be interesting, not least to Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who has been driving the master plan process.