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LETTER: Poultry dumping is real

The evasions from chicken importers continue (Allegations do not constitute proof of dumping, August 15). Donald Mackay and the association of importers he represents will not admit that dumped chicken imports have harmed the local industry and thrown thousands of South Africans out of work. Indeed, they won’t even admit that dumping is happening, as shown by their constant calls for proof.


Three EU countries – the Netherlands, Germany and the UK – were penalised for dumping in 2015. That’s proof of past offences. Dumping has continued since then, but MacKay says the local industry has not lodged any complaints. I cannot speak for the South African Poultry Association, but refer Mackay again to its statement that action will be taken against all EU dumpers of chicken meat whose volumes fall within World Trade Organisation thresholds.


The industry has complained to the government, appealing to it to protect jobs. The Department of Trade and Industry has not acted so far, and if the Department of Agriculture has implemented the measures of which Mackay complains, then that is some solace.


Mackay evades the issue of the billions of euros of subsidies enjoyed by EU farmers. He challenges us to bring action if there is any evidence of “prohibited subsidies”. He knows these subsidies are not prohibited, but they give EU farmers a huge advantage.


I would like to issue a challenge to Mackay and to the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters. Express regret at the thousands of South African jobs lost to chicken dumping. Show concern for the families and communities devastated by the loss of income. Contribute to efforts to support those most affected.


FairPlay recently helped organise a social support summit in Johannesburg to do just that. We would welcome Mackay’s support.


Francois Baird
Founder, FairPlay

First published in Business Day on 21 August 2017