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Chicken fakes and fallacies

South African chicken importers became so disturbed by FairPlay’s successful campaigns against chicken dumping and predatory trade practices that they started a sub-brand which – in our opinion – looks like a propaganda site, and called it Chickenfacts. Unfortunately it’s a fighting brand that does not always distinguish fallacy from fact.

In their latest effort, they accuse FairPlay of a string of things we haven’t said and then attack these straw men with mangled logic.

For the record:

FairPlay has never said that all imports are illegal, unfair or dumped. We regularly state our support for legal imports and fair trade – we have campaigned against the unfair and illegal portion of the trade.

We have never said all poultry producers are battling to stay afloat. Yes, some have regrouped and are doing well. What we have said, as does the poultry master plan, is that the industry is distressed and that predatory trade practices and dumping have caused contractions, closures and job losses. 

Chickenfacts says “dumped chicken imports” is a figment of FairPlay’s imagination and there is no evidence that such a thing exists.

Yet it is because of those supposedly imaginary dumped imports that anti-dumping duties are currently in force against nine countries – Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

No evidence? In December 2021 South Africa’s trade regulator, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), published nearly 200 pages of evidence in its determination resulting in SARS imposing provisional anti-dumping duties against Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain. The application was made by the SA Poultry Association on behalf of the industry in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

No dumping? On page 169 of its determination, ITAC said “The Commission found that the subject product [ie, frozen bone-in chicken portions] originating in or imported from Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain was exported at dumped prices to the SACU during the period of investigation”.

No harm to the industry and no link to dumping? On page 172, ITAC said there was a “causal link between the dumping and the material injury and threat of material injury experienced by the SACU industry”.

Worse, the importers’ fallacy-ridden publication tries to pretend that the ITAC determination and the consequent imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties by SARS does not exist, arguing that until we have the final determination later this year dumping assertions are unproven and we should not talk about dumped chicken. A lame attempt at invoking the “innocent until proven guilty” principle.

What have they been smoking?

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