Chicken Industry

Imports Put South Africa’s Domestic Egg Industry at Risk and Threaten Food Safety

The Randfontein Herald reports on a statement by Willie Bosoga, chairman of the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) egg board on the status of egg production in South Africa.

The large-scale importation of eggs puts South Africa’s local poultry production and local poultry feed supply chains at risk. South Africa is being flooded by egg imports from Brazil, the United States and the European Union. In June seven containers containing a total of over three million table eggs imported into South Africa from Brazil.

In August South Africa’s Agency for Food Safety and Quality (AFSQ) issued a recall for five containers of imported table eggs due to labelling and classification problems.

Bosoga notes: “the importation of eggs is unnecessary. Eggs are sourced from places whose disease status is practically unknown to us, they are not inspected for physical or biological status, the countries from which they are sourced enjoy subsidies and export incentives at multiple levels in the production chain. Furthermore, the eggs are refrigerated at 2 degrees Celsius during their sea voyage, then repacked and distributed at ambient temperatures. This break in the cold chain in itself will cause deterioration. Unnecessary imports of whatever commodity or product also inflate the already critical SA trade deficit.”

“Ultimately, imported eggs mostly affect the informal market, where small scale farmers sell to this sector in South Africa . Most formal retailers have high food safety protocols in place with regular inspections at source of production and packing.

“South African egg producers pride themselves on producing top quality eggs, and consumers buying South African eggs can be assured of the freshness, safety, top quality and high nutritional value that our eggs have to offer. Buy South African, Local is Lekker, Proudly South African will always be our motto.”