Chicken imports cost local jobs

The damage done by dumped and predatory chicken imports was highlighted during FairPlay’s media briefing this week.

Izaak Breitenbach, head of the broiler organisation at the SA Poultry Association, said 10 large poultry producers had closed in the past decade because of dumping. Without the impact of those dumped products, local production would have increased by 30%, creating local jobs.

And a small-scale chicken producer, Amanda Mdodana, said farmers like her were struggling to compete with chicken imports.

She said she knew of 500 other small-scale farmers, each employing a minimum of three people, who were at risk of closure because low-income consumers were price sensitive.

Removing import tariffs, as importers had proposed, would make things worse for small-scale farmers, she said, as they were already facing steeply rising input costs.

Image: Retrenched RCL worker Thokozane Thabete addresses the FairPlay Social Support Summit in 2017.