The SA Poultry Association (SAPA) has drawn a careful distinction between legal poultry imports, which it supports, and illegal and dumped chicken imports which it will fight tooth and nail.
In an interview, SAPA’s Izaak Breitenbach also emphasised the need for a strong local poultry industry to bolster South Africa’s food security.
He said the local poultry industry is globally competitive and does not see imports as a threat.
“But dumped imports, (and) imports on which the price is under-declared to save on paying tariffs, are a serious threat and have led to reduced profitability in the industry, reduced investment, reduced economic activity, and job losses.”
Breitenbach said “no industry in the world can compete with dumped products”.
He put local demand for chicken at about 185 000 tons per month, of which local producers supply 75% and imports 25%.
“The industry at present has vacant capacity due to the 10% expansion that has taken place and can thus replace most of the imports. In terms of food security, we need a strong local industry to supply chicken,” Breitenbach told Freight News.
If dumped and illegal chicken import were stopped, local production and legal imports would find their own levels.
“We can find a balance between local production and imports only by allowing the legally traded product to be imported,” he said.