Ques­tions for lo­cal poul­try pro­ducer

Sunday Times - - OPINION -

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

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