Chicken Industry

Winning against the odds

Food for thought from Country Bird Holdings’ sales and marketing director Phil Tozer, in CBH’s June issue of the Feathers and Feed newsletter:

Have we lost our sense of reality?

We operate in an industry where the largest market share is held by IMPORTS, mostly dumped into South Africa at prices lower than they are sold in their own countries. How is it possible? And who’s listening?

This is not a bad dream. Imports collectively really are the dominant supplier of poultry to the South African market – and a million birds per week bigger than the largest producer in SA, who employs more than 12 000 full-time employees. I’m sorry to say this is not a Harry Potter story. Sadly, it’s a reality.

Just imagine if these imports could be replaced by local production, and imagine how many new full-time jobs could be created. It would make such a difference to our society. We need wise heads to help us change things for the better.

For the sake of perspective: import volumes are equal to 6 million broilers per week. The largest local producer estimates that it delivers 5 million broilers per week and at Supreme Brands we deliver 1.5 million per week.

Just consider what the odds of success are when the reality is that imports are four times bigger than Supreme Brands’ entire production; and that we have to compete with product that is cheaper most of the time…

We have managed to beat the odds and to weather the import storm in the past couple of years by building on our strengths. But the war is far from over.