‘Pork in­dus­try must re­de­fine mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties’

Farmer's Weekly (South Africa) - - Commodity Outlook 2019 -

Fol­low­ing the re­cent lis­te­rio­sis out­break in South Africa, one of the big­gest chal­lenges for the pork in­dus­try will be to re­store re­la­tion­ships along the en­tire value chain, in­clud­ing with gov­ern­ment. This was ac­cord­ing to Jo­hann Kotzé, CEO of the South African Pork Pro­duc­ers’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion (SAPPO).

“Our big­gest as­set is the health of our herds, and the en­tire in­dus­try must have the com­mon goal of pro­tect­ing that health,” he said.

Kotzé also em­pha­sised the im­por­tant role in­for­ma­tion would play in the fu­ture. How­ever, data had to be turned into mar­ket in­tel­li­gence, and ac­cess to this in­for­ma­tion was also de­pen­dent on re­la­tion­ships of trust. Thus, an open sys­tem in which shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion was a key el­e­ment meant that a stronger value chain would be cre­ated, he said. This was nec­es­sary to en­able the lo­cal in­dus­try to bench­mark it­self against pro­duc­ers in the EU, for ex­am­ple, that ex­ported pork to South Africa.

In the com­ing year, con­sumer prices would largely be in­flu­enced by grain prices, along with the price at which pork could be im­ported.

“We can­not sell prod­uct at R30/kg when one can im­port qual­ity, pre­ci­sion-cut pork from Ger­many for R26/kg,” Kotzé said.

In ad­di­tion, mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties had to be re­de­fined, he said. “Mar­ket [share] is not about the liv­ing stan­dards mea­sure (LSM) any­more, but about af­ford­abil­ity. [But] af­ford­abil­ity does not mean ‘cheap’,” he said. In this re­gard, Kotzé stressed the im­por­tance of hav­ing a trace­abil­ity sys­tem in place that was com­pat­i­ble with re­tail­ers’ sys­tems.

Other as­pects that de­ter­mined con­sumer choice were food safety and qual­ity. It was also im­por­tant that con­sumers were as­sured that an­i­mal wel­fare was taken se­ri­ously, he said.

Kotzé said con­sumers of all LSM cat­e­gories in­creas­ingly did not have time to cook, and prod­ucts there­fore had to be sold in an easy-to-cook form. Con­sumers in the lower LSM cat­e­gories also had to be given the op­tion of buy­ing smaller por­tions, while still re­tain­ing the ease of prepa­ra­tion. – Ger­hard Uys


RIGHT: Al­though con­sumers want af­ford­able pork prod­ucts, they also ex­pect these to com­ply with food safety and qual­ity stan­dards, ac­cord­ing to the South African Pork Pro­duc­ers’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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