Poultry and pork producers in South Africa are struggling, not only because of the impact of dry climatic conditions on production, but also because they have to compete with “cheaper” imports.
South Africa, which has an unemployment rate of over 25 per cent, is exporting thousands of jobs each year because of poultry and pork imports.
According to industry experts, imported poultry directly competes with locally produced products, as the imported products are exported at lower, usually subsidised, prices making it difficult for local producers to compete.
Imports in effect limit the potential of the local industry to reinvest and expand production to create much needed jobs.
The poultry industry employs more than 120,000 people through both direct and indirect jobs. The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has estimated that another 18,000 jobs could be created if poultry meat imports were stopped.
“It is estimated that we lose a thousand jobs for every 10 000 tons of poultry imported,” Mr Arnold said.