Poultry Business: Good News & Bad News

The good news is that an individual showed courage and persistence to get his poultry business off the ground.  The bad news is that it shows just how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to break through systemic structural government failures in order to succeed in business.

Here is an interesting lesson for South Africa’s poultry industry:  the Egyptian government flooded their consumer market with cheap imported chicken in order to teach local producers to trim their profits.  The local producers made the same arguments as our own local producers – the high costs of production, mostly feed.  But the government pointed to their profits, and showed no sympathy.

The National News

Meanwhile, back in South Africa, the largest poultry producer in South Africa announces the industry reaching a R60 billion milestone, posts record profits, but warns of a struggling industry. Don’t worry about sounding professional. Sound like you. There are over 1.5 billion websites out there, but your story is what’s going to separate this one from the rest. If you read the words back and don’t hear your own voice in your head, that’s a good sign you still have more work to do.


People in South Africa are getting poorer, and the people on the margins of poverty already spend most of their income on food. This thoughtfully-argued piece claims that supermarkets could reduce the margins on a basic food basket and make healthy food more affordable.

Daily Maverick

It is always interesting to compare South Africa with other countries in Africa. In the Ivory Coast, 60% of poultry production is from backyard chicken farmers who, according to this article, are increasing their production along with a rise in demand. This is almost the exact opposite of South Africa, where five large companies provide 70% of chicken and egg production, and have a large say in setting prices.

Poultry World

South America is a main source of our imported chicken, so it is disturbing to read of avian flu outbreaks on that continent.  Brazil, the world’s largest poultry exporter, is free of avian flu, and we can only hope that continues, otherwise it would have a massive impact on poultry supply world-wide.

BusinessTech’s analysis of why food prices are so high in South Africa right now is a confirmation of the information in our Fact Sheet.  Multiple factors, not only loadshedding, is leading to food inflation being double the norm.

Business Tech

Can chicken make you happier?  This article suggests that Gen Z (people born between 1990 and 2010) will eat more chicken if it can be proved that it is good for your mental health.

Avian flu is most likely the biggest global threat to our poultry supply – so why do farmers not vaccinate against it?  Here is a US-based analysis of the case for an AI vaccine. It would be very interesting to get a South African perspective!

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD), is a very interesting organisation.  One of their projects is to show the cost of the average low-income food basket…. not from statistics, but from people actually going to the shops and buying the goods.  So when they say the cost of the average food basket has gone up by 13%, they are not citing figures, they are reflecting the actual lived experience.

First World Problems.  Buffalo Wings are spiced-up deep-fried chicken wings, and they are so popular in restaurants that demand always outstrips supply.  But in the US (where else?) restaurants have started serving ‘boneless’ buffalo wings, in the expectation that their customers cannot cope with the additional task of stripping the meat off the bone.  Now customers are fighting back – claiming that ‘boneless buffalo wings’ are nothing more than gussied-up chicken nuggets.  And in the way of things in the US, this has landed up in court.

And a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, feels so strongly about it that he prepared a presentation to the Lincoln City Council.  This is a really great video to watch, because according to Ander Christensen, the wrong name for boneless chicken is a moral issue deriving from how we raise our children and treat our community.  It is worth a view.

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