Chicken Industry

Farewell to chicken importers?

Chicken importers have rung the death knell for the poultry sector master plan, which they signed in 2019 and have opposed ever since.

They have criticised various aspects of the plan, which is designed to curb chicken imports and encourage investment, expansion and job creation in the local poultry industry. Not surprisingly, importers object to import tariffs which reduce their revenues and profits.

In a tweet this week, the chicken importers’ publication Chickenfacts concluded weeks of criticism by saying that the poultry master plan is “doomed to fail”. Coming on top of the announcement by their owners, the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) that they are “re-evaluating” their participation in the master plan, a parting looks increasingly likely.

We are awaiting a government announcement on anti-dumping duties against poultry imports from Brazil and four European Union countries, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain. When that happens, will importers tell Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel that they no longer want to play in the master plan team?

Whether the importers decide to stay or go, the facts speak for themselves: The poultry master plan is working. There is more local chicken being produced, new jobs have been created, new farmers have been empowered, and South Africa has started laying the foundation for an export industry.