The broiler industry is the largest sub-sectoral contributor to the value of agricultural production in South Africa and chicken is by far the most widely consumed form of meat. The industry has been the subject of heated debate and significant policy intervention over the last few years. On the one hand, local producers argue that unfair competition from imports is harming the industry and has led to substantial production and job losses. They have been successful in obtaining tariff duty protection. On the other hand, traders and retailers point to what they see as limited domestic supply capacity, inefficiency leading to lack of competitiveness and the poor quality of locally produced chicken. They argue that the main reason for the industry’s requests for tariffs is to increase profits at the expense of low-income consumers.

The objectives of this study, commissioned for the "EU-SA Partners for Growth Project" funded by the EU, are:

  • To gather and assess evidence on the causes and impacts of the current ‘crisis’ in the industry
  • To identify underlying constraints to the growth, competitiveness and transformation of the industry
  • To evaluate options for public and/or private sector and/or EU intervention