The South African Poultry Association acknowledged the work of the FairPlay anti-dumping movement with an award presented to FairPlay partner Melinda Shaw at the AVI Africa poultry conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Shaw, who heads up the media communications for FairPlay, has been involved with the movement since it was launched in October 2016. “FairPlay was created out of concern for the plight of the people who were losing their jobs as a result of dumping,” Shaw said. “The chicken industry accounts for 120 000 jobs. In the last few years at least 6 000 jobs have been lost due to the uncontrolled dumping from the EU. In a country with one of the highest unemployment figures in the world – almost 27%, or over 38% if you look at the expanded unemployment rate, of people who want to work but have stopped looking – this cannot be left unchallenged, and that is what FairPlay has stood for since the start. It has been a steep learning curve for all of us, but we are proud of the inroads FairPlay has made in creating awareness about the destructive effects of dumping .”
The movement has had several notable successes since launch, after creating, virtually overnight, an international organisation with the capacity, skills and reach to defend and protect the vital yet vulnerable South African poultry industry. Says Dr Charlotte Nkuna, CEO of SAPA, “The dedication of Melinda Shaw and her FairPlay colleagues continues to play a significant role in protecting the poultry industry from the existential threat posed by dumping. As a result of FairPlay’s activities, it has influenced the government’s decision to increase tariffs on imported poultry and have been able to exert pressure on the government to create a special task team to investigate and make recommendations on required actions to protect the industry from predators, achieve a steady state and position it for growth.”
AVI Africa is the biggest poultry conference and exhibition in Africa and is being held at Emperor’s Palace from 12 to 14 June 2018. FairPlay founder Francois Baird is delivering a presentation at the conference on Wednesday 13 June.