Paul Matthew: SA’s poultry producers and importers are stronger together

24 November 2023,  Business Day, Paul Matthew

Bird flu is likely to become the new normal in SA, so we need to make sure we are looking beyond the current crisis.

Much like our rugby world champions, we believe that when we are facing a challenge we are stronger together. We believe this is the approach the country needs to take in managing both the short and long-term fallout from highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, as this is in the best interest of consumers.

For some time, consumers have been facing rising food costs, particularly the cost of chicken, which is traditionally the most affordable and widely consumed protein staple in people’s shopping baskets. However, since June the country’s local poultry industry has been badly hit by the latest outbreak of bird flu. According to the SA Poultry Association, so far, 8.5-million birds have been culled in 2023, which includes 20% (6-million) of the country’s commercial layer flock and 30% (2.5-million) of the parent birds that produce the genetic stock for the overall chicken population.


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