Grain SA raises concerns over wheat duty-free quota benficiaries

The agricultural body says the aim of a duty-free quota is usually to benefit consumers.

FILE: Wheat farming. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Grain SA has raised concerns over a duty-free quota on wheat only benefiting two major corporations in its trade agreement with the European Union.

The agricultural body says that the aim of a duty-free quota is usually to benefit consumers.

As part of the EPA, a duty-free quota was struck for South African wheat importers.

Grain SA CEO Jannie de Villiers says that the quota is granted on a first come first serve basis.

“One of two companies saw the opportunity of which, I think, was a multi-national. They got the full benefit of roughly R300 million to R400 million. I think this is where the problem is.”

He adds that when only two companies benefit from such a deal, there is no pressure for the companies whose costs are now less to reduce the prices for consumers.

The Department of Trade and Industry says meetings will be scheduled to discuss the matter with the EU.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)