It is always with a great sense of pride that we produce this issue for Avi Africa, this year marking the 110th conference and exhibition. Avi Africa serves to showcase not only the importance of South Africa’s biggest agricultural sector in Rand terms, but local expertise, experience, production methods and products that makes us truly world class.
Although our poultry sector is facing one of the most difficult times yet with rising input costs, the worst drought in our history, and unprecedented levels of foreign imports threatening our very survival - especially our emerging, small and medium producers – we remain proudly South African. On this subject, let me mention my local Spar in Broadacres, whose owner told me that despite being offered a bewildering array of foreign imported poultry by suppliers, he only stocks locally produced chicken. May all retailers follow the Tarr’s example, for buying local means buying a local job, supporting local industry and the health of our nation’s economy as whole.
Given the arrival of US imports on our shores backed by the absolute assurances of local importers and US producers that these poultry products are of the highest quality and health standards, it’s ironic that millions of kilograms of poultry products have been recalled across the US during April and May this year due to disease and other issues as we report in Today in the USA. It’s also worth noting that last year alone, while more than 2 million cases of Salmonella were reported in the USA, incidences in South Africa were a rare occurrence. Our country can be justifiably proud of our local health and safety standards, which are rated among the top three in the world. Such a shame therefore that these were lowered to allow in US imports at the barrel of the AGOA gun. We remain hopeful that this is loaded with blanks.
With the publication of the new DAFF brining regulations, Kevin’s regular letter to the industry is filled with the facts and assumptions surrounding this controversial topic. Read the From the Desk and make up your own kind whether these are good or bad for consumers and producers. Catch up too on the latest news from a global perspective on antimicrobials – we’ve been covering this issue quite a lot over the last few months, matters of trade, as well as news from within SAPA’S member organisations.
We’ve also provided fresh insight into both the transformation imperative – and the person tasked by SAPA to lead it. We trust you’ll enjoy the article and find the profile of Dr Charlotte Nkuna as interesting and engaging as the person who sits behind the words. She’s warm and friendly, so look out for her at Avi Africa and stop for a chat. You won’t regret it.
Lastly, I hope you’ll enjoy the news, views and features we’ve included this month, and will look out for our July issue when all the news from Avi Africa will feature – along with photographs of some of the people and companies that make our industry great.¡