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The Shoprite Group fights for customers’ right to low-priced chicken from USA

| Legislation

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. 

Kholofelo Maponya’s company, Daybreak Poultry Farms, is one such supplier that the Shoprite Group has aided. Less than two years ago almost 2 600 employees of the company could have lost their jobs, now it holds a 7% share of the South African poultry market.

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.

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