Chicken Industry

Questions for the EU

An EU-funded ‘study’ on SA’s chicken industry pays little attention to the damage done by an increasing flood of imports from the EU. Read FairPlay’s statement to the EU here.

FairPlay has since asked the EU to answer the following questions. The EU has not responded.

1. Did your study take account of the socio-economic impact of proven EU chicken dumping in SA?

2. Will the EU fund a study to determine the extent of EU chicken dumping damage in Africa and South Africa over many decades?

3. What are the profit margins of EU chicken dumped in South Africa?

4. Have you calculated the effect on poor people of having their jobs destroyed?

5. You seem not to have addressed food safety and food security issues meaningfully. Why not?

6. How much did you pay for this study?

7. Is it coincidental that this report appears just when bird flu bans are being lifted and EU countries are rapidly resuming their assault on the South African chicken market and its jobs?

8. Why does your report pay so little attention to reviving and stimulating the local industry to supply the local market? You seem to think that the industry’s problems will be solved by exports.

9. You appear to dismiss accusations of unfair competition, particularly from EU imports. What about anti-dumping duties currently in place against three EU countries – the Netherlands, Germany and the UK?

10. What did the SA Poultry Association tell you about the damage done to the local industry by cheap and dumped imports, particularly from the EU and Brazil?

11. You note (pages 35 and 36) that chicken producers including RCL Foods and Sovereign have changed their chicken operations to focus away from imports. Is that not an indication of the damage that imports are doing? Have you asked them why they did this? Do you need their phone numbers?

12. You note (page 15) the BFAP prediction that imports could reach 38% of the market by 2027. Are you worried that we could go the way of Ghana, where imports reached 95% and destroyed the local industry?

13. You note (page 15) the huge increase in imports particularly of bone in portions which dominate the local market. Do you think South Africa should simply abandon this market to imports?

14. You note (page 15 and elsewhere) that chicken imports have doubled, but local production has hardly grown. Doesn’t this tell you that predatory imports are stifling local production and preventing expansion and job creation?

15. Your view on page 31 on what governments and the EU can do to help the local chicken industry focuses almost entirely on local MDM production and exports. Why did you not look at helping the industry to counter the flood of predatory exports in its home market?

16. Do you concur with our previous DTI minister Rob Davies who said that if we don’t support the local chicken industry, we won’t have anything to export?

17. You mention (page 14) reports that importers have illegally defrosted and repackaged imported chicken as IQF. Could you give more details on that and how you think it should be curbed?

18. On page 6, in the 3rd bullet point under Possible implications and opportunities, the report mentions that the EU offers assistance “to DAFF to improve its SPS capabilities”. Please elaborate on what this support entails.

19. In terms of the trade and development cooperation context, can you present evidence that the EPA and its predecessors have benefitted SADC countries as much as it has the EU?

Photo credit: Phil Magakoe. Lionel Adendorf of FairPlay poses questions to the Delegation of the European Union to SA, and invited guests, on 15 August 2019.