From the Desk

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

I Bt’s a day in court with ex­ports, im­ports and brin­ing

y the time you read this, the im­pact of the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions will be well known and hope­fully well un­der­stood. What’s clear is that our coun­try is go­ing through a pe­riod of change. The poultry in­dus­try isn’t any dif­fer­ent, with a real threat that the broiler in­dus­try will con­tract mas­sively over the next six months to a year. The po­si­tion is quite clear: with­out gov­ern­ment ac­tion to sub­stan­tially re­duce the vol­umes of im­ports there’s no chance of a sta­ble lo­cal in­dus­try - let alone one that grows.

The un­cer­tainty around the egg or­gan­i­sa­tion per­sists, but at least a hope­ful word or two is in or­der with mem­ber­ship start­ing to grow as Char­lotte gets to know more pro­duc­ers.

On a very sad note, we need to re­port that the in­dus­try’s lost one of its true en­trepreneurs with the un­timely death of Arend Kuipers, whose shoes will be hard to fill in his own com­pa­nies let alone in terms of the in­flu­ence he had in our

in­dus­try. We of­fer our heart­felt con­do­lences to his fam­ily, friends and col­leagues.

Brin­ing

We’ve now had con­fir­ma­tion that the brin­ing case will be heard on 12 and 13 Septem­ber. A group of in­ter­ven­ing par­ties made up of AMIE, the RMIF, SANCU and two pro­duc­ers have joined the ap­pli­ca­tion. All re­spond­ing par­ties (ev­ery­body except us) have to pro­vide their ar­gu­ments by 5 Au­gust, and we have un­til 19 Au­gust to give our re­ply to th­ese. Then it’ll be a case of the re­spec­tive coun­sel draw­ing up their heads of ar­gu­ment, with a bat­tle royal to fol­low. We’ll ask for an in­ter­dict at the same time as we’re hav­ing the reg­u­la­tions re­viewed by the Court. It isn’t likely that a de­ci­sion will be made be­fore 22 Oc­to­ber, so an in­ter­dict is needed to keep the sta­tus quo in place pend­ing fi­nal­ity on the reg­u­la­tions.

Apart from our chal­lenge to the reg­u­la­tions, a fur­ther prob­lem has arisen in that DAFF have re­fused to al­low prod­ucts made be­fore the ef­fec­tive date (22 Oc­to­ber) to be sold af­ter 22 Oc­to­ber. This is sim­ply im­prac­ti­cal, and in­di­cates a lack of un­der­stand­ing by at least some of­fi­cials in DAFF of the pro­cesses we fol­low. As we pro­duce in ex­cess of R320 mil­lion of the prod­ucts most af­fected each week, and th­ese prod­ucts can be in the dis­tri­bu­tion chain for up to a year, you can imag­ine the fi­nan­cial losses and waste of food that will oc­cur if this silli­ness isn’t cor­rected.

Namib­ian Court Case

As ex­pected, the judge in our Namib­ian mat­ter ruled against us on a tech­ni­cal­ity, which we’ve ap­pealed di­rectly to the Namib­ian Supreme Court. We’ve no idea how much longer this’ll con­tinue, but as most of you will know, South Africa didn’t take kindly to Zim­babwe’s re­cent ac­tions to limit ex­ports of a range of South African prod­ucts to that coun­try. South Africa needs to be firmer in press­ing our rights, and I’m pleased that the

Zim­bab­wean ac­tion has been well op­posed by the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try.

Egg Or­gan­i­sa­tion

The OIE has an­nounced that it’ll be­gin the process of start­ing to de­velop an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards for layer hens this year. The IEC re­quested I be their rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the work­ing group that will be formed to draw up th­ese stan­dards. I’ll be rep­re­sent­ing the egg pro­duc­ers of the world, in­clud­ing South Africa, and will be the sole pro­ducer rep­re­sen­ta­tive on this work­ing group. I’m surely go­ing to need sup­port from lo­cal pro­duc­ers to present the best ar­gu­ments pos­si­ble and hope you’ll sup­port me in this en­deav­our just as I hope that you’ll be ac­tively in­volved in the SAPA Code of Prac­tice re­view cur­rently un­der­way un­der the guid­ance of Alan Saun­ders.

Trade

We pre­sented to ITAC on the TDCA safe­guard in July, as did many other par­ties. We ex­pect ITAC to make a de­ci­sion in Au­gust, which’ll hope­fully be com­mu­ni­cated to us by a let­ter be­fore the end of the month. We ex­pect that should ITAC rule in our favour, the EU will re­spond in some puni­tive way. Funny that they think they should have the right to sell their left­overs to us at dumped prices, and that such waste dis­posal con­sti­tutes the type of trade that the TDCA en­vis­aged. I’ve seen no men­tion of waste dis­posal in the agree­ment.

We’re pre­par­ing our pa­pers to re­spond to the AMIE court case where they’ve taken ITAC and other par­ties, in­clud­ing us, to court to con­test the process be­ing fol­lowed by ITAC in this re­view. We don’t think this re­view will af­fect the time­lines that ITAC is fol­low­ing. We also don’t think the AMIE ap­pli­ca­tion has much chance of suc­cess, although it’s pos­si­ble they might at some point win a sub­stan­tive le­gal chal­lenge to our var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions.

We’ve re­ceived money from the at­tor­neys act­ing for Wiesen­hof, the Ger­man ex­porter and pro­ducer, who ten­dered costs when they with­drew their case against the→

South African gov­ern­ment and oth­ers, in­clud­ing us, in chal­leng­ing the anti-dump­ing du­ties that are in force against them.

The ITAC tar­iff re­view con­tin­ues, and we hope that it’ll be com­plete by the end of this year. Clearly, we need to present a ver­sion of the re­al­ity we find our­selves in that makes sense to ITAC as th­ese tar­iffs were neatly sidestepped by the im­porters and have had al­most no ef­fect.

We’ve started col­lect­ing the data we need to sup­port the con­tin­u­a­tion of the US an­tidump­ing du­ties, although it’s way too soon to know if the US will come up with bet­ter ar­gu­ments this time around. It’s in­ter­est­ing that less than half the ex­pected amount of US prod­uct has come into South Africa fol­low­ing the AGOA agree­ment. We can only spec­u­late on the rea­sons for this, although ac­tual prod­uct qual­ity may be one of th­ese.

Our chal­lenge against weak­en­ing food safety pro­to­cols con­tin­ues. DAFF have to re­spond in early Au­gust with their no­tice to op­pose, and pro­vide us with a record of how they came to their de­ci­sion. This will be in­ter­est­ing to read and re­view.

Our ex­port dossier is now in Saudi Ara­bia. The next step is to get a re­sponse from the Saudi au­thor­i­ties. As men­tioned last month, I ex­pect we’ll have a few more it­er­a­tions be­fore mar­ket ac­cess is granted. We’ve now been given the all-clear to ex­port to the UAE, and as ex­cite­ment rises, a re­quest for an amended health cer­tifi­cate ar­rives. This isn’t go­ing to be a straight­for­ward process.

DAFF

DAFF came to visit us af­ter the Deputy Min­is­ter had been on a farm visit to one of the agri­cul­tural stars of the year - some­one well known to many of you, namely Tumi Mok­wene, who ex­plained quite clearly to the Gen­eral that his suc­cess as a young farmer is at risk be­cause of the flood of im­ports. This is some­thing that only gov­ern­ment can fix - and gov­ern­ment needs to want to fix this enough for a change to hap­pen. In re­turn for gov­ern­ment sup­port, the in­dus­try will also have to do things to make the it more in­clu­sive. Since we hope that most of you want to do that any­way, a re­quest like this won’t be a hard­ship to en­dure. Gov­ern­ment has tools in the tool­box; they need to dig deep and start us­ing them more of­ten, and more ef­fec­tively.

Gen­eral

SAPA pre­sented to the South African So­ci­ety for An­i­mal Science last month on ar­eas of re­search where lo­cal knowl­edge would be bet­ter than for­eign knowl­edge. There is def­i­nitely scope for some lo­cal re­search; now all we need is the fund­ing to drive this.

Ag­mat and I at­tended the com­mod­ity cham­ber of Agrisa strat­egy meet­ing as they are grappling with find­ing the best way for there to be one com­mod­ity cham­ber for South Africa. We are of the view that a cham­ber sep­a­rate from the main body of Agrisa will make it easier for farm­ers who find a home within AFASA, NAFU and the TAU to participate in such a cham­ber. Agrisa are right­fully con­cerned about the ma­jor struc­tural change such an ap­proach will bring to their mother body. This is not an easy jour­ney for them and we wish them well on the road to a new be­gin­ning. SAPA will con­tinue to sup­port any ac­tions that can lead to a more or­gan­ised voice for agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties, but we are not the lead­ers in this process.

I at­tended a Maize Trust Steer­ing Com­mit­tee meet­ing on trans­for­ma­tion last month which is deal­ing with sim­i­lar is­sues - what do we need to do and how best to do it to bring about sus­tain­able change to the maize in­dus­try? The an­swers to th­ese ques­tions are var­i­ous and of­ten con­tra­dic­tory, so it’s go­ing to re­quire a lot of com­mit­ment from in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment to get it right. In gen­eral, in­dus­tries com­plain that gov­ern­ment should leave job cre­ation and eco­nomic growth to in­dus­tries. If we re­ally be­lieve that, then it is for in­dus­tries to lead trans­for­ma­tion as well. We can’t be se­lec­tive when we tell gov­ern­ment that we have the tools to bring about change and im­prove­ment.

SAPA met to dis­cuss feed­back from Avi Africa and we’re al­ready work­ing on some new ideas and con­cepts to bring to you next year. We also want to see if it’s pos­si­ble to have ‘mini’ Avi Africas at a few venues around South Africa to give more pro­duc­ers ac­cess to the prod­ucts and knowl­edge that are on dis­play at Avi Africa each year.

Re­gards un­til next month, Kevin Lovell, CEO.¡

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