Nonprofit trade movement FairPlay, together with localisation organisation Proudly South African and trade unions, have launched a campaign to promote the consumption of local chicken.
The Buy Local Chicken campaign is aimed at retailers and wholesalers that buy significant quantities of imported chicken from producers that may be engaging in predatory trade practices.
The campaign is also aimed at educating consumers on the advantages of buying local chicken products.
The campaign is aligned with both the Buy Local drive contained in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on October 15, and the Poultry Master Plan, which aims to boost the local chicken industry by curbing imports and expanding production for the local and export markets.
FairPlay explains in a statement that the past two decades have seen huge volumes of chicken imports costing thousands of South Africans jobs, which has become an even more pertinent issue amid Covid-19 and its impact on jobs.
The Poultry Master Plan aims to create 5 000 jobs over the next few years, which the Buy Local Chicken campaign will help drive.
FairPlay founder Francois Baird says jobs could be saved and created not only in the meeting of expanding consumption, but also in import replacement.
Agricultural Food and Allied Democratic Workers Union general secretary Mlamleli Pukwana says job losses caused by predatory chicken imports must be stopped, while creating jobs by expanding South Africa’s local chicken industry.
Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali agrees, stating that the partners in this Buy Local Chicken campaign realise that it is also a jobs drive.
Proudly South African CEO Eustace Mashimbye notes that the partners want to encourage consumers to buy local chicken, particularly with the festive season coming up.
The campaign will start in the Western Cape later this month, with a picket at Shoprite Checkers' head office in Brackenfell on November 30, which will urge the supermarket group to increase its purchases of South African chicken.
This will be followed by pamphleteering at shopping malls and taxi ranks, and memorandums being delivered to all major supermarket groups.
In December, there will be a picket outside Parliament and a memorandum will be handed to Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who plays a key role in government’s Buy Local campaign.