POULTRY INDUSTRY’S OUTLOOK for 2019 cautiously optimistic
The South African broiler industry has had a good year, mainly on the back of low maize prices. As a result, there has been significant investment in the industry and there are plans for further investment, according to Ziyanda Majokweni, acting general manager of the South African Poultry Association’s Broiler Organisation.
She said some of the challenges faced by the industry that would remain key risk areas in 2019 were the importation of cheap bone-in leg portions, the rand dollar exchange rate, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), and the negative perception of food safety in South Africa created by the recent listeriosis outbreak. “Poultry meat imports remain high despite the excellent competitiveness of the South African broiler industry. Bone-in leg portions remain the biggest contributor to imported meat cuts at 73% of the [almost] 229 700t up to September 2018.
“After much negotiation, protest and waiting, the EU’s economic partnership agreement safeguard [measures] were published [and will take the form of a] 35,5% [tariff] from 28 September 2018 to 11 March 2019; 30% from 12 March 2019 to 11 March 2020; 25% from 12 March 2020 to 11 March 2021; and 15% from March 2021 to 11 March 2022,” she explained. Majokweni said pathogen reduction plans remained key in the management of food-borne pathogens. In the past year, the industry had investigated the possibility of emergency vaccination as a tool to combat avian influenza, she said.
She added that the industry also recently held workshops to discuss the department of agriculture’s draft guidelines for compliance with hygiene controls and microbiological food safety performance objectives according to the Meat Safety Act. The poultry industry had committed to assist the department with developing meaningful, measurable and impactful objectives in 2019. – Siyanda Sishuba