The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) has released a statement in support of the decision to impose anti-dumping duties on dumped chicken imports from Brazil, Denmark, Poland, Ireland and Spain.
Issued by the General Secretary Mayoyo Mngomezulu and Deputy General Secretary Vuka Chonco, we reproduce this statement below.
FAWU WELCOME THE DECISION OF IMPOSING ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON POULTRY
15TH AUGUST 2023
FAWU support the recently gazetted anti-dumping duties from the decision of the DTIC Minister, Mr Ebrahim Patel on countries among others, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, and Spain. This is a decision that has been called by FAWU and other institutions advocating for a fair international trade in order to protect jobs in South Africa and our economy.
The decision came after a long period within which the DTIC Minister had suspended to impose the anti-dumping duties for 12 months with a claim of protecting poor communities on chicken prices. This again was despite the ITAC (International Trade Administration Commission) having conducted an investigation and concluded that in fact there was chicken dumping in South Africa, secondly, that chicken dumping was indeed causing material harm to the South African poultry industry and ultimately in its report, recommended that the Trade Minister Ibrahim Patel impose anti-dumping duties to offset such a harm.
FAWU welcome this decision on the basis that we believe as a country it is important to protect the local supply of chickens. We believe that we can grow our own chickens than to rely on imported chickens. Further and importantly that we need to protect and create jobs in our country than to wait for chickens delivered from European countries as this create jobs in other countries as opposed to our own and in the entire value chain.
This decision also assisted to avoid chicken dumping in our country which is a price discrimination.
Chicken dumping contribute to closure of farms, other businesses in the value chain, collapse the industry, lessen economic growth, questions food security, job losses and ultimately before we know, if this is an economic pattern to other sectors of our economy, questions the country’s sovereignty as well.
In any monetary economy, a country in its international trade should enjoy competitive advantage and avoid improper balance of payment. South Africa should not therefore appease trade relations at the expense of its economy particularly on the issue of dumping.
On the other hand, with regards to the market share from the second quarter, 16% of imports and 8% being apportioned to both MDM (Mechanically Deboned Meat) and other frozen portions will pose a threat if it grows further since exports has not even reached a sheer 3%.
Related to the above, the lesser pace to increase exports by opening markets to other parts of the globe such as EU and other African countries is contrary to what was agreed in the master plan, and this will result to same position of the entire sector being threatened to be taken over by other countries.
Therefore, the decision of the DTIC Minister has also assisted to fast-track what was agreed by all participants in the economy which led to us concluding a program of building the poultry sector and create jobs in the country. FAWU agreed in 2019 with the Department of Trade Industry and Commission with the Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Development, employers, and other related state organs to rebuild the poultry sector and create more jobs. This would inevitably protect and grow our local economy.
- The agreement contained among others:
- Exporting as a priority, cooked food for purposes of creating more jobs within the country.
- Agreed not to involve international funding but provide local investment of 1.6 billion to kickstart increasing productivity which happened and was subsequently increased to over 2 billion in the process of establishing farms and skills development for workers and other activities of growing the sector.
- Worker development through providing skills for the existing workers and for the unemployed to enter the labour market.
- Worker’s ownership programs
- Creating over 4 000 jobs every after agreed consumption tons from increased
- productivity and the establishment of new 50 farms expected to create more jobs.
- Transformation where all farms established are owned by black people and access
- for blacks to participate in the entire value chain.
- The suspension has therefore discouraged all the above but with the imposition of anti- dumping duties will place back the energy for more jobs to be created.
It is important to note that FAWU does not oppose imports, they are essential especially in products that we do not specialise on, however it is equally important to note that chicken dumping is beyond imports and constitute unfair trade.
This is not the only challenge in the sector as loadshedding also has devastating effect and possibly largely more than the measures taken to address chicken dumping.
FAWU CALLS FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYER TO FOLLOW THE BELOW.
- The government to fast-track accessing markets in other countries for exports.
- The government to urgently address electricity crisis.
- The employer to fast-track the master plan together with all other stakeholders in
- order to create more jobs.
- FAWU calls food summit to discuss the sustainable solution in the food sector for
- food security.