Poultry industry getting export ready

While importers gripe about the lack of exports, South African poultry producers are quietly getting on with the job.

Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) gave an outline of what is to come in an interview with Landbouweekblad. Breitenbach said the biggest obstacle is the veterinary certificates required by the European Union, and government negotiations with the EU are underway.

The industry hopes to have clearance by the end of the year for exports of cooked and semi-cooked chicken products. Once the extremely high standard of EU certification is received, it will clear the way for poultry exports to other countries as well, he said, including Britain and the Middle East. Fast-food restaurants in the EU had already expressed interest.

Four local producers have installed cooking facilities at their production operations over the past two years, supplying the domestic market while waiting for export certification.

Perhaps chicken importers know all this, which would explain why they are suddenly calling for it, and offering to set up their own export task team for facilitate chicken exports. It’s an old political trick – call for something you know is being done, and then claim the credit.