‘Pork industry must redefine market opportunities’
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.