South African poultry dispute reaches new level

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

South African importers argue import duties would increase chicken prices
South African importers argue import duties would increase chicken prices

Related tags: South african poultry, International trade, Livestock, Poultry

South Africa’s meat trading body has lodged an official complaint against local chicken producers with the country’s Competition Commission.

The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) said the complaint had been filed against the South African Poultry Association and local frozen chicken producers and was related to the use of Customs duties to remove import competition from the market, as well as price manipulation and anti-competitive practices.

The complaint is the latest in a long-standing battle between importers and local producers. The South African Poultry Association is arguing for duties on imported chicken from Brazil and Europe to be raised to protect local producers, while AMIE argues that raising the duty would increase poultry costs for consumers and damage the industry.

AMIE CEO David Wolpert said the group was calling for an “in-depth investigation”​ of the South African chicken industry to settle the matter.

“AMIE is of the firm opinion that a full ‘Market Enquiry’ should be initiated to determine exactly what the weaknesses are and what support, if any, may be required by the local chicken industry,”​ he said.

“This investigation should not be performed piecemeal, as the consequences of any decision, which will result in increased prices, will have a devastating impact on the consumer, especially those already struggling to meet the demands of higher fuel and energy costs.”

Related topics: Meat

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