Durban, South Africa – The FairPlay anti-dumping movement will take its message to a select gathering of leading African and global business leaders in Durban this coming weekend.
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD), an influential network of African and global business leaders who are committed to inclusive growth through greater strategic investment in Africa, meets every year in different African city. The Spring Frontier 100 Forum in Durban on 5 and 6 May 2017 will focus on tackling youth unemployment in Africa through private sector job growth and skills development.
Unemployment and the opportunities for growth when dumping is stopped, are central to the FairPlay message as the movement has highlighted the thousands of jobs lost in South Africa. The local chicken industry is buckling under huge volumes of dumped chicken imports, principally from the European Union. There are also great opportunities to bring previously disadvantaged people into the industry and to grow an industry that guarantees food security, when the predatory practice of dumping no longer destroys the local industry.
At the IGD Forum on 6 May, the visiting business leaders will be given a first-hand picture of the economic and social impact of dumping by Scott Pitman, managing director of the consumer division of RCL Foods, one of the major chicken producers in South Africa.
Pitman warned last year that the local industry would not survive in its present form for another 12 months if dumping continued unabated. In January this year, RCL Foods halved production at a large chicken operation in KwaZulu-Natal and closed a number of poultry farms, with the loss of 1 350 jobs.
If dumping can be stopped, local producers together with government, have plans to revitalise the industry and turn a shrinking sector into a growing one which creates jobs.
FairPlay is one of the Forum sponsors. The movement was formed in 2016 to counter dumping worldwide, starting with the South African chicken industry. It is seeking government support to protect the industry against the ravages of dumping, which has put the local industry at risk, with additional huge numbers of jobs likely to be lost if the practice continues.
Northern hemisphere consumers prefer chicken breasts and wings, which is where producers in regions such as the EU recover their costs. As a result a huge surplus builds up of unwanted brown meat – drums and thighs – which are frozen in bulk and sold off to any market that will take them.
FairPlay, which is seeking to build widespread opposition to dumping, supports free trade and is not protectionist. It draws a clear distinction between legal trade and competition, which it welcomes, and the illegal and predatory practice of dumping, when goods are sold below the cost of production, devastating local industries.
This is what is happening in South Africa, where local chicken producers, found by an independent survey to be among the most efficient in the world, are cutting production and jobs because of dumped chicken imports, which have increased hugely over the past five years. Major producers have announced cutbacks and the South African Poultry Association, which estimates industry job losses at between 4 000 and 6 000, has listed 12 local chicken businesses that have closed or been taken over since 2012.
There has been a temporary reprieve this year because EU exports have been halted by outbreaks of avian influenza. However, unless measures are put in place to halt dumping, it will continue as soon as European exports resume.
FairPlay founder Francois Baird said African countries are being targeted, particularly by the EU. South Africa had to avoid following the example of Ghana, where the chicken industry collapsed because of imports.
“Cote d’Ivoire is a better model – the chicken industry there is recovering after measures were introduced to counter dumping,” he said.
“For decades, African governments have been told by the EU to apply the rule of law, and to ensure a level playing field for all businesses. Today the EU is breaking World Trade Organisation rules, destroying African industries by dumping yet it expects no punishments for its actions, nor does it expect African countries to try to stop dumping.
“We are here to show them they are wrong. Rules must apply equally to all in global trade. This is a precondition for industrial development in Africa, enabling Africa to add value to commodities and attract investment in African industries. Trade and commerce has to be based on fair competition,” Baird said.
IGD President Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych said the luncheon briefing will give global business leaders a real-time example of how dumping impacts employment in African industries.
“Dumping hurts local industry,” said Nedecovych. “The private sector and governments must be proactive in putting forth solutions to ensure that trade is fair and competitive.”
About the FairPlay anti-dumping movement
The FairPlay movement was started in 2016 as a global initiative opposing the predatory trade practice of dumping. It aims to combat dumping across the world, starting with dumped chicken imports in South Africa which are damaging the local industry and costing thousands of jobs.
The FairPlay movement promotes fairness in trade and aims to differentiate the good players from the bad in industries being devastated by dumping. It communicates a powerful narrative for influencing government decisions on the actions required to put a stop to dumping.
For more information on FairPlay, visit our website: www.fairplaymovement.org