Chicken Industry

Impose anti-dumping duties now, says Rainbow

Rainbow Chicken, South Africa’s second-largest poultry producer, has added its voice to the calls for the immediate imposition of anti-dumping duties on chicken portions from Brazil and four European Union countries.

In a statement sent to FairPlay by Marthinus Stander, Rainbow’s managing director, the company also said that it is investing R220 million in returning the second shift at its Hammarsdale production plant. The shift was closed in 2017, with the loss of more than 1 200 jobs, because of the impact of dumped chicken imports on Rainbow’s business.

Laid-off RCL worker Thokozane Thabete addresses the FairPlay Social Support Summit in 2017.

Rainbow said the decision by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel to delay for 12 months the implementation of anti-dumping duties against the five countries would not help consumers, as Minister Patel contended.

Describing as “spare parts” the bone-in chicken portions such as leg quarters dumped in South Africa, Rainbow said the landed price of these portions was an international price that bore no relation to the production cost.

“South Africans love chicken on the bone and therefore it is a prime target for dumping bone-in dark meat portions, which is the crown jewels in terms of our consumer preference. 

“The sheer volume of dumped bone-in portions during favourable times such as the absence of duties does lead to price suppression, but it is importers who benefit most and profit from inflated margins, not the consumer. There is no cheap chicken on the shelves, and volumes produced abroad create jobs abroad and not in South Africa where they are needed most.”

Image: Rainbow is returning a second shift to its Hammarsdale plant (above) after a R220 million investment.

Rainbow said the delayed implementation was a unilateral decision by the minister, taken without hearing the views of local producers, and was therefore a departure from the poultry master plan, co-created by the industry and government.

“Despite the Minister’s decision, Rainbow will continue with its R220m investment in returning a second shift to its Hammarsdale processing plant in KZN; thereby adding 328 jobs and having 47% of the increased broiler demand grown by black farmers.

“We do however call on Minister Patel to reconsider his decision and stop unfair trade soonest to enable us and our industry to invest and grow with more confidence, so that we may deliver what our country needs,” Rainbow stated.