Chicken Industry

Debate about dumping

While the investigation gets underway into the poultry industry’s application for anti-dumping duties against Brazil and four EU countries, the debate has not stopped.

Importers seem to think chicken dumping stopped in 2015. The industry says more than R6bn worth of chicken was dumped in South Africa between 2017 and 2020.

David Wolpert, now retired, was chief executive of the importers’ organisation AMIE for much of that period. FairPlay founder Francois Baird has challenged Wolpert in Business Day to say whether dumping happened while he was boss. Read the letter below.

LETTER: Did or did not chicken dumping take place?

30 April 2021.

Can Mr Wolpert confirm or that such activity took place on his watch?

While I’m delighted that David Wolpert agrees that chicken dumping is wrong and damages local producers, he is disappointingly evasive about whether this pernicious practice continues (“SA poultry is doing fine, so ignore the alarmist letters”, April 28).

In a tweet earlier this month he said it appears as if dumping is happening. He now says he concedes nothing of the sort. So let’s put him on the spot.

Can Wolpert deny that chicken imports are being dumped here? More specifically, can he deny that chicken was dumped in this country between July 2017 and June 2020, as claimed in the local poultry industry’s anti-dumping application?

For much of that period, Wolpert was CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters. Importers are well aware of the prices paid for chicken from Brazil and the EU. Did dumping happen on your watch, Mr Wolpert? Yes or No?

Francois Baird