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Last updated: 30 November 2016

Memorandum Of Petition To The Parliament of South Africa On Dumped Chicken To Our Country And Harmful Effects

30 November 2016, Cape Town

We, as members of the Food and Allied Workers Union [F.A.W.U.] in South Africa and supported by the poultry industry players (producers and processors) and countless other South Africans, hereby present this Memorandum of Petition in protest of unfair trade practices that the EU`s Member Countries/States is conducting against our country, given the harmful impact such as shrinkage of the local poultry industry and job losses going with this, on our nation.

Firstly, the production and processing of chicken in the EU jurisdiction is highly subsidised and this result in unfair competition to our unsubsidised local poultry sector, something we refer to as unfair trade relations between the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and the EU commission, noting the latter`s unfair advantage.

Secondly, our country`s poultry industry constitutes less than 1% of the world`s total chicken output yet we find it difficult to have poultry produce and products from RSA finding market access to the EU countries due to technical barriers to entry, such as inspection and hygienic and other such technicalities, yet the same is not required and implemented by our government for those coming from the EU by our government.

Thirdly, the growth of the dumped chickens from the EU is now pushing the share of foreign chickens to local consumption to between 30 % and 35% and may rise to 40% very soon with the impact of this loss of market share for our local industry leading to job losses.

Having said the above, we wish to point out that the poultry industry in this country is labour intensive and located in semi-urban areas thereby employing tens of thousands of jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers in a country that has close to 40% unemployment rate is the policy-appropriate expanded unemployment rate is to be used.

Therefore, we demands as follows:

  • That the Parliament must immediately support the Cabinet and Trade and Industry Ministry in negotiations and efforts to sop the dumping of EU`s chickens into the RSA market;
  • That Parliament supports efforts of Cabinet in securing the sensible and genuine negotiations between the EU and RSA in arriving at a mutually-beneficial trade agreement on poultry products and other areas;
  • That such an agreement must also allow the market access for our poultry products into EU market, with our government retaliating with technical barriers and non-tariffs protection measures;
  • That such negotiation should be held quickly lest we call on our government to rather engage in "trade war" with the EU as every day passing means hundreds of jobs at stake if status quo was to be allowed.

As we speak, one of the poultry companies has earmarked to retrench about 1500 workers when it closes one of its only three processing companies as it loses R1m a day as a consequence to the above EU dumping.

We hope to receive positive response by 8 December 2016 close of business.