Master plans have been criticised as protectionist by those who believe that industries should be open to competition from all imports, including the dumped imports that have cost thousands of jobs in the sugar and poultry industries.
In fact, the poultry master plan offers the opposite of protection, because improving competitiveness is at the heart of it.
All players in the poultry sector have voluntarily signed up to form a “Team SA Poultry” to grow and develop this strategic industry, which is already one of the most competitive in the world, for the benefit of South Africa and all its people.
The benefits are that we get to capitalise on a jewel in South African agriculture – poultry is SA’s largest agricultural sector – to ensure and further improve food safety, food security, jobs growth, improved livelihoods, development access, consumer choice and affordability.
Poultry is a strategic asset for South Africa and a centre of excellence. The poultry master plan could make “Team SA Poultry” a powerhouse of growth and development.
Izaak Breitenbach, from the SA Poultry Association, says the government does not dictate policy to the poultry industry. The master plan helps create policy by getting input from all stakeholders and arriving at a consensus view.
A master plan is a social compact, he says. It’s a balancing of interests to achieve a goal aligned to the country’s constitutional parameters but taking into account what the industry wants, which is growth and profits.
Government, in turn, wants economic development, sustainable value chains, transformation, job creation and fair pay and working environments.
This is the same model adopted by the EU to grow their own industries through localisation. They only import products they don’t produce and therefore seriously restrict poultry imports.