I would like to brief the membership on our new tariff campaign released yesterday. The campaign is on the back of the latest South African Reserve Bank’s October Monetary Policy Review and AMIE’s request for dialog with Minister Patel and the Commissioner of ITAC, both requests have not materialised. The South African Reserve Bank’s October Monetary Policy Review shows clearly that duties that are applied on imported chicken drive up the cost of chicken, which hurts South African consumers. The South African consumer is enormous financial pressure – everything is rising, including electricity, transport and concerningly, the cost of essential foods. This cost-of-living crisis is being made worse by rising duties and the fall of poultry imports into South Africa. We have seen the price of chicken soar on a month-by-month and year-on-year basis. The Reserve Bank’s report says that duties on frozen chicken have increased consumer prices by between 13% and 40%. This is also highlighted in the report, which shows that duties have more than trebled between 2013 and 2022, increasing from 27% to 82% on imported frozen whole birds and from 18% to 62% on frozen bone-in chicken cuts. As AMIE, we are calling for a comprehensive review of all import duties on poultry. It’s time that the Government takes a long, hard look at its trade policy, as we know has been protecting the large domestic manufacturers at the expense of our members and the South African consumers. The domestic poultry industry has been protected for a very long time. While there is evidence that the large domestic companies have benefited financially, there is no evidence that this has had any material impact on job creation, or the industry’s ability to meet growing local demand for chicken. What is evident is that duties have had a significant negative impact on consumers’ ability to afford this vital protein source. Also, the Poultry Master Plan prioritises exports as a way to grow the local industry. Nothing has been done at all to grow the export market for South African chicken, which is a massive lost opportunity, not only for domestic producers (their own growth), but also for the creation of jobs. Protection, as the Reserve Bank’s report shows, while great for shareholders of the large producers, has the unintended consequence of pushing up the cost of chicken, which is hugely detrimental for consumers. We will be posting on the AMIE blog all our media coverage and via ChickenFacts.