Association warns of looming 'chicken price tsunami'

The association is calling for the urgent removal of trade tariffs on all poultry products as well as a three-year moratorium on any new tariffs to ease tough economic times for consumers.

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CAPE TOWN - The South African Association of Meat Importers and Exporters on Monday warned consumers could be "heading for a chicken price tsunami".

The association is calling for the urgent removal of trade tariffs on all poultry products as well as a three-year moratorium on any new tariffs to ease tough economic times for consumers.

The body represents local companies that import and export poultry, beef, and pork as well as companies that manufacture meat-based products for South African consumers.

Chicken is an affordable source of protein, but there are fears its accessible price point could come under threat.

This is due to a rising cost of living as a result of rampant inflation, global food and commodity shortages combined with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters, Paul Matthew, also supports the removal of VAT on all poultry products to ease pressure on cash-strapped consumers.

"The impact of the war in Ukraine on global food security, the escalating fuel, transport and electricity costs, trade tariffs, supply chain interruptions and the fact that wages are decreasing, unemployment is increasing - consumers need urgent relief."

Matthew said removing tariffs alone could see a 33% drop in the price of bone-in chicken pieces and between 18% and 20% on chicken offal.