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End duty suspension, says Henwil Chickens

Another South African chicken producer, Henwil Chickens, has come out in support of the call to end the suspension of anti-dumping duties on chicken imports from Brazil and four European Union countries.

The government announced last month that dumping by the five countries had been proved, and the duties had been approved, but that implementation would be suspended for 12 months so as not to have any impact on rising food prices.

The suspension has been opposed by FairPlay and by the SA Poultry Association (SAPA), arguing that the tariffs would have little or no effect on food prices, but that the suspension was harming the local poultry industry. SAPA has warned that additional production capacity built because of the poultry master plan might lie idle as a result of the tariff suspension.

Statements of support have been received from Rainbow Chickens, and investment group Remgro. This week Henwil Chickens, based in North West province, added its voice to the call for the immediate imposition of the anti-dumping duties. Henwil has the capacity to process 130 000 chickens per day.

Henk Alberts, CEO of Henwil said the assurances in the poultry master plan had been “a major motivational factor” in Henwil’s decision to double production capacity and build a new R130 million feed mill.

The master plan, signed in 2019, aimed to stimulate local production and demand, while curbing imports and acting firmly against dumping and illegal trade.

Because of the failure to implement the approved anti-dumping duties “we must cut on overheads, inclusive of labour and employment costs”.

“Surely this counterproductive to what the aim is or was?” Alberts asked.

Indeed.

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