Questions for local poultry producer
IN the report “Angry bird man says state plan to export fowls just won’t fly” (May 28), Chris Schutte, CEO of Astral Foods, claims that massive amounts of chicken are being dumped in South Africa from the EU, and that the self-same EU uses false phytosanitary claims to block poultry exports from South Africa.
May I pose a few questions to Schutte?
Why do local poultry producers not bring another anti-dumping action against EU chicken to offset the alleged dumping margins?
Why does Schutte not mention the fact that most of the EU has been closed to chicken imports to South Africa for many months now, due to avian influenza, reducing volumes to a trickle?
Why did South Africa wait for years, until April this year, before applying to the EU to export chicken there?
Why did Astral Foods cancel a scheduled meeting with visiting EU veterinary authorities and officials of the Dutch embassy here at the last minute?
Why are there no meetings between local and EU veterinary authorities to iron out differences and/or misconceptions?
It seems Schutte doth protest too much and continues to blame imports for his industry’s woes, much of it self-inflicted — for example, its poor history of adding excessive brine to chicken, which, incidentally, the Europeans are opposed to.
Furthermore, the effects of the new brining limits have now exposed the local industry’s past reliance on salt water for profit generation. — David Wolpert, CEO, Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of South Africa, Johannesburg