More master plan progress and job creation

The South African poultry industry has done more to implement the objectives of the poultry sector master plan than any other signatory, the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) said in a statement this week.

The statement lists the progress the industry has made, but says it is all at risk because of the government’s failure to renew or replace temporary anti-dumping duties against Brazil and four European Union countries.

Izaak Breitenbach, head of SAPA’s Broiler Organisation, said the poultry industry continued to produce “the cheapest chicken our Rands can buy”, despite challenges such as power cuts, problems accessing fresh, clean water, the rising cost of fuel and feed, and a less than desirable foreign exchange rate.

However, he said, the biggest threat of all was unfair trade practices such as dumping from Brazil and the four EU countries. The failure to replace provisional anti-dumping duties against these countries when they expired in June had left the industry at risk.

“South Africa is currently open to predatory trade from other countries, and the progress that’s been made to achieve the objectives of the Poultry Sector Master Plan is under threat,” Breitenbach said.

“Allowing dumping to continue undermines the pillars of the Poultry Sector Master Plan, and severely compromises and endangers South Africa’s poultry industry – a R56 billion strategic economic asset.”

Breitenbach provided an updated list of the poultry industry’s achievements in terms of the master plan.

These included:

1. Investing R1.5 billion in expanded and upgraded facilities, with another R570 million to come.

2. Allocating R650 million for building poultry houses for black poultry farmers, currently farming nearly 17 million birds.

3. Creating 1 465 jobs, with 800 more jobs in the pipeline. The grain industry had added 2 000 jobs.

“Of all the signatories to the Poultry Sector Master Plan, SAPA can report the most progress and most successes, and can showcase material growth and transformation of the local poultry industry – including improvements throughout the value chain.”

The other signatories include the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE), frequent critics of the master plan, who are reconsidering their participation. What have they done for growth, job creation and transformation?