David Wolpert is up to his usual diversionary tactics (Export plan could help poultry firms, May 9). He keeps on referring to exports because he doesn’t want to talk about the chicken dumping that is doing such harm to the South African chicken industry. His Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) has even threatened a gag order against one of the producers daring to discuss dumping.
So Wolpert and his association raise exports at every opportunity, pretending that the industry’s woes would disappear if only they would see the golden offerings so easily available in export markets. This is the line they have peddled to Parliament.
As Wolpert well knows, poultry exports depend on numerous certifications that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries currently lacks the capacity to provide. More markets will open only once this happens. Nevertheless, government departments, the South African Poultry Association and AMIE are working on an export strategy including addressing these shortcomings.
Chicken producers have been eyeing and trying export markets for a long time. The industry welcomes the intention of AMIE members to become active exporters once markets have been opened up through the combined efforts of all involved.
But that won’t happen in the near future. A quicker fix for the industry would be government action to stop the jobs devastation caused by chicken dumping.
First published in Business Day on 15 May 2017