In our May round-up of poultry information, most of the news is not good. Most stories concentrated on the threats to food security posed by load shedding, general infrastructure collapse, and bird flu.
Brazilian Poultry Export Industry
Reuters looked at the threat of bird flu to the Brazilian poultry export industry – the world’s largest – while reassuring readers that HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) in wild birds was cause for concern, it did not mean that any poultry production or export would be affected… for now.
However, in an interview with SAPA’s Izaak Breytenbach he warned that bird flu in Brazil would have a major impact on poultry supply in South Africa as Brazilian imports plugged a gap left by slower domestic production due to loadshedding.
Imports and Food Security
This confirms the ChickenFacts view that imports have a role to play in food security in South Africa and that the move to suspend anti-dumping tariffs (on top of existing import tariffs) was a wise one.
The country’s largest poultry producer announced in a shocking reveal that loadshedding was having such an effect on their operations that they were suffering an 88% drop in profit as told by BuinessTech.
How Loadshedding Affects Food Security
And Sunday World did a larger item on how loadshedding was affecting food security across other sectors as well. Most media conflated the two issues – the loadshedding and the bird flu – and predicted a dire future, in the medium term at least, for the affordability of basic foods.
Food for Mzansi is an NGO that deals with food security, and their take was that steep price rises were inevitable, while News24 repeated the fact that it was a low-income consumer that would be hit the hardest.