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The South African Poultry and Egg Industry
In 2014 the value of poultry meat reached R33.8bn and the eggs sub-sector recorded a value of R9.2bn. Combined, the industries directly and indirectly employ more than 115,000 people. The poultry industry is highly concentrated and dominated by fully integrated broiler producers that also own, or are involved in, the secondary industry with their own abattoirs, handling meat processing, distribution and marketing, as well as importing and exporting divisions. Some own retail shops and fast food chains, or have contracts to supply chicken products directly to restaurants, fast food chains and supermarkets. The egg industry is also highly concentrated with the three main producers, Eggbert, Nulaid and Highveld Cooperative, commanding 51% of the egg market.
Lack of Competitiveness
Although chicken is the nation’s first choice of meat protein and eggs rank fourth, profitability in the industry is problematic and is heavily dependent on the price of chicken feed and on protectionist tariffs and anti-dumping duties. Large numbers of cheap imports over the past five years have negatively affected local commercial producers as well as emerging farmers: 110 emerging broiler producers and 44 emerging egg producers stopped farming during the course of 2014. The proposed brine injection cap is also expected to contribute to a lack of competitiveness within the sector. Although the Government asserts the impact of the recently renegotiated AGOA treaty will be manageable, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) estimates that the import of 65,000 tons of chicken could result in the loss of 6,500 jobs and R900m in turnover.
This report focuses on the poultry and egg industry, the current state of the sector, developments within the sector and factors influencing the success of the industry. The report also profiles 13 industry players, ranging from RCL Foods Ltd which raises 208 million chicks per annum to emerging producer Red Barn Farms based in the Western Cape which produces chicks and eggs and employs six people.