Chickens have come home to roost over poultry prices – Dean Macpherson

DA MP says party continuously warned that anti-competitive behaviour would lead to astronomical price increases

The chickens have come home to roost over poultry prices

12 April 2022

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dean Macpherson MP.

The DA will write to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) and lobby them to suspend tariffs on poultry so that hard hit consumers are able to put food on the table.

For a number of years, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, and especially Minister Ebrahim Patel, have fallen over themselves to satisfy big poultry producers in their quest to lock out affordable poultry to South Africans. This has been done through unjustifiable tariff increases on imported poultry under the mantra of protecting South African poultry producers.

The DA has for its part, continuously warned that this anti-competitive behaviour by big, JSE listed poultry producers, working in concert with the Minster and ITAC, would lead to astronomical price increases in poultry. The chickens have now finally come home to roost.

According to the South African Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE), prices have increased 17% just this year, with more on the way. RCL, a JSE listed poultry producer that has benefited to the tune of billions of Rands in profit from reduced competition, have in the last two days said that chicken prices will increase “significantly” and that price increases were “unavoidable”.

Poultry is the single biggest and cheapest source of protein for millions of South Africans. They simply cannot afford these price increases.

That is why ITAC must act with speed and drop the tariffs on bone-in products, which would save 33% according to AMIE.

However, the Minister and his Department must also shoulder the blame for the misery many South Africans are bearing right now. They have been warned that their obsession to lockout imports and protect big poultry producers would come at a cost and sadly, that cost is now playing out with many families going hungry.

Issued by Dean Macpherson, DA Shadow Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, 12 April 2022