With the coming of the New Year, the country remains dangerously dry across many provinces. The implications of the drought on our industry, on farmers in general, and on the economy have yet to be fully quantified, but expect the bill to be massive. We cover some of the talking points in our Local News section, as well as in Kevin’s From the Desk, which also features the latest in news from SAPA. The new Boards have begun their work, so read all about it here, as well as the latest developments on the trade front. In our local news section, Agrisa warns of a perfect storm – a combination of drought, spiraling crime and divisive politics. Agbiz too reflects that the year ahead is likely to be more difficult than the one that lies behind us – and when you add to this the issue of currency depreciation, rising costs, increasing inflation and the projected rise in interest rates, it looks as if the ride is going to get very rough indeed. We also feature a summary of the Rabobank global outlook for 2016, which paints a better picture for a world that’s free of the challenges faced by our local industry. Whatever happens, it’s clear that 2016 is going to be a busy one!
Bird flu is top of mind again, and just as France sees a decline in infections, a new outbreak occurs in Scotland. Now that the USA has applied regionalisation, can the UK do the same, saying that chicken from England is not the same as chicken from Scotland as regards AI infections? Time will tell. Read all about these developments and more from across the world in International News as poultry seems to be the new way to fight battles.
Steroids, hormones, genetic modification and caged chickens – all this and more the vast majority of US consumers believe goes into poultry production although the reality is none of this is true. Yet perceptions are all that count, so the industry is sitting up and taking notice. Read about this in our Today in the USA feature, where results of research in the USA reveal the massive extent of commonly held misconceptions that still prevail.
This month, we’re delighted to feature Sunrise Farms, a family owned enterprise that shows how successful operations are built – hard work, sustainability and talent. We trust you enjoy reading about the people who make our industry a worldbeater each month as much as we do writing about them.
Lastly, let me wish you strength and fortitude in the year ahead, and thank you sincerely for taking the time to read our magazine, to support our publication, and simply for taking the trouble to keep in touch. Happy New Year!¡