Chicken Industry

Dumped Chicken Imports Risk Well-Being of 1.3 Million South Africans

With the national economy on the floor and unemployment through the roof, the least we can do is robustly and fearlessly protect our internationally recognised and highly competitive industry – the South African poultry industry – from the ravages of profiteering predators and importers.

Consider this. The poultry industry in South Africa employs 110 000 people directly and 20 000 others indirectly in the grain industry; and accounts for a long value chain that creates opportunities for small business and entrepreneurs throughout the country. This industry is critical to South Africa’s food security.

It is a very serious fact and it follows as day does night that if this industry gets gobbled up by predators as happened in Ghana, Senegal and almost happened in Cameroon but for the brave and intelligent intervention of communities and government acting together, our industry will be destroyed. Not damaged – destroyed and taken over by the likes of Brazil and the EU who, with market domination, will have total control over chicken prices. A few rand cheaper today is no more than the bait for total price control tomorrow.

If Brazil is allowed to win this battle for South Africa’s poultry industry, one thing is certain: out goes South Africa’s food security and with it, out goes an industry with the potential to employ the better part of 200 000 people and the opportunity to create a reservoir of opportunity for black farmers, entrepreneurs and small business owners up and down the country.

This battle, however, is not just about food security and the hugely significant employment numbers that the industry directly and indirectly accounts for, it is also very much about the estimated 1.3 million children, women and men who depend on the salaries of poultry workers to sustain their daily lives and keep poverty from their door.