The South African Poultry Association says the industry is suffering due to unfair competition with the European Union (EU) which has led to chicken producers selling farms to stay in business.
The country’s biggest chicken producer has sold 15 of its 25 farms in Hammarsdale and is retrenching more than 1,000 workers.
The Poultry Association’s CEO Kevin Lovell says the sector is in a crisis and needs tighter regulations on imports.
“The EU on the whole produce birds in 50% to 70% more than we do and yet export pieces of the chicken they don’t want to eat - the leftovers for much less than cost of production. You can’t compete against that.”
The Department of Trade and Industry’s Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter says, “We’ve been working with the industry and we’ve put in place number of measures in the past three years. We’ve been providing protection to the industry.”