Poultry exports in the spotlight

The need for substantial exports of South African poultry was highlighted in media coverage of the FairPlay-Farmer’s Weekly webinar on the state of the poultry master plan.

The webinar, a “Digital Summit” involving master plan signatories and other experts, was held on 27 October.

In its focus on exports, Business Report quoted the statement by Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) that increased chicken exports were a strategic commitment for the industry. 

The industry had plans to boost the export of cooked meat, he said, but exports of raw chicken remained a problem because South Africa still had to comply with sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) requirements in the European Union.

Trade advisor Donald MacKay said South African chicken, cooked or uncooked, would fetch premium prices in the EU and it was encouraging that South African producers were looking at the value to be had there.

Most South African sectors did not have an “export first” way of approaching things.

“We tend to look at the local market, produce for it and if we have excess move into the export market. 

“That whole way of thinking is becoming problematic. We have an economy that is essentially stalled. It has been hard to grow this market for quite a while, which means exports become extremely important,” MacKay said.

Breitenbach also noted progress the industry had made in meeting its poultry master plan commitments on investment and job creation.

New statistics showed that the master plan had created R2,4 billion in investments, and 2 600 new jobs. The industry had expanded its production capacity by 10%.

In the past two years the industry has established 18 new contract farmers and “these are big producers, big businesses that are successfully being established amongst black farmers”.

The industry had also trained more than 1 000 people and turnover was estimated to have increased from R50 billion to R52 billion per annum.