Poultry market conditions improving

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cape Town – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says market conditions in the poultry industry appear to be improving.

Answering questions at the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Minister said his department had not had further production closures or lay-offs in recent times following concerns that the sector was under threat due to brown meat dumping by the European Union and America.

The Minister said the work of the poultry task team is ongoing. The poultry task team is led by the Department of Trade and Industry and includes the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Industrial Development Corporation and representatives of the poultry industry.

“The collaborative effort between government and stakeholders is however limited to the work of this task team and government is actively engaging as many stakeholders as possible, including importers of poultry products.

“Market conditions in the poultry sector have improved somewhat and no further production facility closures or layoffs that government is aware of have taken place,” he said.

The Minister’s remarks come after Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said about three months ago that government was, through various task teams, implementing intervention measures to avoid job losses in the poultry industry.

At the time, the Deputy President said government would deploy incentives and other support measures to protect the industry to maintain production capabilities, save jobs as well as to ensure food security.

Last month, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana said his department was on a drive to re-open farms that have shut down due to the current market challenges. Some of the interventions included government departments setting aside 30% in procurement of goods and services for institutions like hospitals and correctional centres to buy directly from local farmers.

On Wednesday, Minister Davies said: “Government will deploy a full suite of policy interventions in collaboration with the private sector to protect the domestic poultry industry to ensure that the interests of consumers, especially the low-income earners, for whom chicken is an important part of the protein, are protected to prevent job losses and factory closures and at the same time supporting the private sector, to become more competitive where there is room to do so. 

“The work to enable risk-free application of local procurement of poultry products is near to finalisation.

“It should be noted, however, that while poultry products are not designated for local content or production at present, the DTI has invoked regulation 8.4 of the 2017 preferential procurement regulation to support local procurement of poultry products,” he said.

He said the regulation facilitates local procurement in non-designated sectors or those that are yet to be designated sectors or products or commodities.

“The Department of Trade and Industry is working closely with the private sector to support an export effort in existing and new markets,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za


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