Dec 20, 2015
The Shoprite Group has raised concern that the price benefit of the recently approved chicken imports from the USA which will be free of anti-dumping duties will not reach consumers.
The Group says that at least half of the 65 000 tonnes of the chicken quota will be given to middlemen who don’t necessarily have the infrastructure or the distribution network which will mean the true price benefit will not reach hard pressed consumers who need it most in trying economic times.
Shoprite understands the Minister’s mandate to allocate a portion of the quota to historically disadvantaged individuals but it can’t comprehend why a minimum 50% must go this route as the benefits of these imports must also reach previously disadvantaged consumers in the form of lower chicken prices in stores.
Shoprite also questions the allocation criteria of the remaining 50% too which is based on historical import volumes. Firstly, the allocation doesn’t take into account actual sales to end consumers.
As the largest seller of frozen chicken in the country, Shoprite has the best footprint to reach the majority of SA consumers living below the bread-line.
In this regard, Shoprite has committed itself to sell any of the imported duty-free chicken it imports at cost price to provide maximum relief to consumers.
Secondly, Shoprite believes that using historical imports to determine the allocation of the quota is disingenuous since it by definition, penalises retailers who have supported the local producers for many years.
It also called on the Department of Trade and Industry to consider the effect of the imports on local suppliers and thousands of SA poultry producers and asked for prioritisation of investment in their growth.
Selling 60% of all frozen chicken in South Africa, Shoprite is committed to support and develop local enterprises supplying chicken to the retail industry. There are plenty of opportunities and a constant demand for poultry products that outstrips supply in the country.
These types of partnerships create much needed jobs, something that is a key objective of the Shoprite Group who is currently the largest private sector employer in South Africa.