Putting the best feet forward

The deal was announced by the Western Cape province’s Wesgro agency and was also supported by Standard Bank.

Wesgro said in a statement that trade consultancy AskCarlaKote would deliver 540 tons of chicken feet to China each month. The consultancy would collaborate with a network of predominantly female-owned poultry farms in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga provinces “to meet this substantial order”.

“What’s more, in response to the soaring demand in China, AskCarlaKote is in advanced talks with multiple West African clients about exporting chicken feet to that region. Notably, they have already received a second inquiry for supplying chicken feet to the Asian market.”

Wesgro said that the deal to export chicken feet to China “has the potential to create 3 000 new jobs across the entire value chain”.

FairPlay notes that the China deal means that chicken feet will be both entering and leaving South Africa.

Official import statistics show that South Africa imports considerable volumes of chicken feet every month.

They come mainly from Brazil, but smaller volumes are imported from Australia and some European Union countries.

In 2023, imports of chicken feet from Brazil ranged between 3 000 tonnes and 6 000 tonnes monthly, with landed prices of between R30 million and R75 million a month.