Chicken industry needs no tariff rebates because there is no shortage, Sapa stresses

27th March 2024

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Executives from the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) met with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel last week to discuss, among other matters, tariff rebates on chicken imports that were introduced as a safeguard against potential shortages on the back of bird flu outbreaks.

“We appreciate the reason that the tariff rebates were published, which is to address a potential shortage of chicken on the market. However, our data indicates that there has not been and is no shortage in the supply of chicken to the market, and thus there is no need for the rebates to continue,” Sapa Broiler Organisation GM Izaak Breitenbach explained.

He said it was agreed that the industry will submit updated data to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac), which administers the rebates, as well as to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, which must certify any shortage.

“We will do this urgently, as a decision will soon be made on whether to continue the rebates in the second quarter, which begins next month,” Breitenbach explained.

Itac has estimated a shortage of 172 000 t of chicken this year and plans to address this with rebates of 43 000 t each quarter. The scheme can be discontinued if it is found that there is no shortage.

“The industry shared insights into how it has been able to mitigate any shortages in the supply of chicken through multiple contingency plans introduced. This included the importation of broiler hatching eggs over the past six months,” Breitenbach said.

The industry also reaffirmed its commitment to cooperating and fully participating in the poultry market enquiry, using the opportunity to highlight the strategic importance of the industry to local food and job security.

As a stakeholder to the Poultry Sector Masterplan, the poultry industry has committed significant investment in capacity to the long-term localisation of poultry production in South Africa.

“It was a positive discussion, and we are pleased with the opportunity to have engaged with the Minister,” Breitenbach said.

Another major point of concern that was discussed with Patel was the recently announced market inquiry to be conducted by the Competition Commission into South Africa’s poultry market and its value chain.

“Patel recognises the operational challenges faced by local poultry producers in recent times, including the energy shortage, but confirmed his commitment to seeing a profitable and diverse industry by partnering with all stakeholders to the poultry sector masterplan,” Sapa Broiler Organisation chairperson Gary Arnold added.

Also in attendance at the meeting were officials from Itac, as well as Rainbow Chicken executive Marthinus Stander and Daybreak Farms CEO Richard Manzini as part of the Sapa delegation.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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